Abandoned motels, lonely gas stations, rusting cars, weary houses shedding paint. Jason Lee’s photographs captures a rural Texas landscape that is disintegrating before our eyes.
Yes, he says: Isn’t that what’s happening to our country today?
Lee discusses these images in his new book, A Plain View, followed by a book signing, at 6 p.m. Thursday at the George Eastman Museum. These are photos that he took throughout 2017 all across Texas, where he now lives. A catalog of lonesome, desolate spaces – people are almost non-existent – that he says is inspired by films such as Paris, Texas.
In fact, Lee is best known as an actor. He’s been in films such as Chasing Amy and was the lead in the NBC comedy My Name is Earl. His unusual résumé also includes time as a professional skateboarder. But Lee is no mere dilettante in photography. Listen here as he discusses negative space, 4x5 Kodak color films, his Graflex Speed Graphic view camera, how skateboarding is like his photography but moviemaking is not, and the art of ruin porn.
Pre-orders of Lee’s book through the Eastman Museum Store (online or in person) are $100 and include two tickets to the talk. There are no other advance ticket sales for this event; admission without pre-ordering the book is $10, available at the door beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Jeff Spevak, a cultural arts contributor to WXXI, is a Rochester-based writer. His web site is jeffspevak.com.