Keith Carter grew up in a small delta town on the Louisiana border, raised by his mother who worked as the local portrait photographer in Beaumont, Texas. Years later, Carter began his own photographic career, capturing the people and spirituality of the Southern landscape in which he was raised. In 1988, his first book of photographs was published followed by numerous books including his eighth and ninth monographs, Holding Venus(Arena, 2000) and Ezekiel's Horse (Rice University Press, 2000), solidifying his place in the history of contemporary photography.
Keith Carter is among an increasing list of artists working in the South whose photographs reveal a people and place so often fictionalized in literature. In the 1930s and 40s, Clarence John Laughlin, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Eudora Welty and members of the F.S.A. captured our hearts with images that helped define the photographic story -- images that exposed and examined a region that was quickly changing. William Christenberry, William Eggleston, Walker Evans and James Agee helped expose the horrors of racism and poverty that confronted people living in the South in the 1950s and 60s. The 1980s and 90s saw an emergence of artists from the South who continue to create picture stories -- images that reveal timeless narratives and how people live and the nuances that shape their lives.
Keith Carter has emerged as one of the most respected artists among this group whose commitment to the people and places of Southeast Texas is unparalleled. Still residing in Beaumont, Carter decided to challenge himself and go beyond the confines of the rural roads he knows so well, traveling to Italy, France, Wales and other places in Europe, in search of truths. The result of his efforts can be seen in one of his latest books, Holding Venus, which shows that Carter's South, where people and places reveal themselves with total honesty, can also be found in some of the most photographed regions around the world. Tackling such photographic clichés as the Eiffel Tower, Gondoliers in Venice, Notre Dame and The Tuileries Gardens, Carter proves that his vision translates across oceans. Using selective focus to highlight a gesture, person or place, Carter creates powerful images of international icons in a fresh and unique way that is unequaled among photographers working today // Catherine Edelman Gallery //