July 22, 2009

Addicted to crack: USER series by Canadian Photographer Tony Fouhse

Tony Fouhse’s critically acclaimed USER series are portraits of crack addicts, mostly all taken from the same corner in his home town of Ottawa. The photographs are truths intertwined in the movement and stillness of pain and suffering. Moments in time that capture the physical and mental realities of drug abuse while exposing a scarred basic goodness. His use of soft and hard light, writhing bodies, scabbed and silent faces some smiling some not are all very truthful indeed. We do not see an opinion. Every one of his subjects permitted Tony to take their photographs. This is a sliver of the life of a crack addict.

As told in the New York Times, Fouhse explains “When Kim, a disheveled woman with lice eggs in her matted hair, was shown the photograph Mr. Fouhse took, she was stunned. He recalls her saying: “I look horrible. Normally, I get sort of fixed up before I take a picture.”

He remembers responding: “Kim, you’re a crack addict. That’s what you looked like that day. But look at your eyes. They’re powerful. The picture is about what’s inside you.” After a long discussion, he said, Kim approved the picture.

Tony Fouhse website (The USER series can be found under the personal link heading)

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