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Perry, Florida (2003)


Wharton178 Sardis, Mississippi (2018)


"The absence of people looms large in David Wharton's latest collection of photographs. Even though his images are brimming with the detritus of late-stage Southern life, he has almost entirely de-populated his scenes—an active photographic decision that makes the all-too-familiar South appear unusual at last. Indeed, this strangeness comes as a welcome relief. It separates his work from prevailing Southern photographs that often leverage a sense of loss to make tritely documentary or moralizing points. In Wharton's unforgettable photographs, human absence becomes a palpable presence, one that dashes Southern mythology by grounding it in a newly visible place."
—Seth Feman, Curator of Photography and Deputy Director Art and Interpretation, Chrysler Museum of Art

"Roadside South completes and complements David Wharton's stunning trilogy interpreting the rural South. Alive to the region's paradoxes and incongruities as well as its struggles, strengths, and aspirations, his photographs challenge us to reconsider our understanding of a region at once archaic, dynamic, and complicated. His images of the Southern vernacular reveal the work of a master craftsman, among the very finest documentary photographers of our time."
—Richard B. Megraw, Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Alabama and author of Confronting Modernity: Art and Society in Louisiana




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