Photographer Sandy Carson Shoots Up the Bizarre, Bizarre West: In his new e book of images, the Austin-based Scotsman shoots up the bizarre, bizarre West – Arts


Orange Muscle/Austin, TX 2016 (Photograph by Sandy Carson)

Within the foreground, the moveable roadside marquee is tipped over on its facet, its signal absent of any message, its spindly black legs sticking stiffly within the air, giving the looks of a useless insect taken out by some automobile on the ribbon of asphalt behind it. Past the highway, desert scrub stretches to low-slung mountains on the horizon, with monumental white clouds migrating via the ice-blue sky, and it is like all that nature is trying on and saying, “You puny human creations aren’t made for this large nation.”

Turtle Energy/Austin, TX 2016 (Photograph by Sandy Carson)

That is the primary picture in I’ve All the time Been a Cowboy in My Coronary heart, the brand new e book by photographer and veteran Chronicle contributor Sandy Carson, and it is a fairly good indicator of the form of work you may see all through its pages: firmly rooted in place – unquestionably the U.S., and more often than not fairly clearly the western half; marked by the surprising or shocking; keenly noticed; artfully composed; wry. In 72 photographs drawn mainly from his highway journeys throughout the American West from 2008 to 2018, Carson chronicles this land at its quirkiest and most curious: a dude astride a camel, yakking on his cell; a nun on a TV display screen choosing her tooth; an upright chair in the midst of a stream; a pair of two-story-high white-and-orange boots; a pink balloon tethered to a parking meter; a pig chilling on a magenta mattress cooled by a drum fan; a Star Wars Stormtrooper lounging on a deck chair beside a swimming…



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