“Blue Crawfish” by Photographer Niall O’Brien

Photographer and commercial director Niall O’Brien came to Louisiana’s St Martinsville parish in search of Gothic America. What he found was darkness, beauty, kindness, violence, and a strange isolation—an underbelly of the American dream. Made over the course of four long trips, the images in “Blue Crawfish” emerge from Louisiana’s dark history of colonization and slavery, the effects of which are still very present today. In a statement about the work, curator and writer Francesca Gavin elaborates:

“Like many of his past projects, O’Brien befriended and became embedded in the world he depicts. He took portraits of aging drunks and strange characters. People at moments of deep tragedy and familial connection. He captures the darkness of the landscape, but always focusing on the human. Crosses marking roadside, alcohol-related deaths. Moss covered cypress trees, abandoned cars and burnt out homes. Mist on agricultural fields, bringing to mind the depression era landscape of John Steinbeck. Death and dust are recurring focal points.

Over time the engrained racist history of the area emerged, and how that ongoing violence and segregation still influences the community. Instead, O’Brien’s atmospheric images are an amalgam of accidental moments that show the world as equally dark and decaying as it is beautiful.”

See more from “Blue Crawfish” below, and check out the NFT collection on Foundation!

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