Ralph Eugene Meatyard’s photographs are unlike any others. Always imaginative, Meatyard’s images are at times dark and surreal, and in other instances, sincere and sweet. Taking images from 1950 - 1972, Meatyard experimented with a wide range of subjects around his homestead in Lexington, Kentucky. Over the course of his photo endeavors, he created a large collection of abstractions with double exposures and also by using a long shutter to capture light on water. Later on in his life, Meatyard created a series called ‘The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater,’ which was inspired by a short story by Flannery O’Connor. This project consisted of his wife and various people wearing grotesque masks, posed in different situations resembling images typically seen in a family’s photo album.
However, his most well-known work consists of images of his immediate family, photographed in areas surrounding their home and seen juxtaposed against untamed landscapes and abandoned structures. Meatyard would regularly pile his wife, two sons, and daughter into the car to embark on excursions around the neighboring farms and terrain surrounding their home. He believed and professed that good images could be made anywhere; it wasn’t necessary to travel long distances to make a good photograph.