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10 January 2013

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Brilliant piece, John. Thanks for lending it so much care and thoughtfulness and for sharing Stone's work. It's hands down, some of the smartest work I've seen from Appalachia in a good while.

John - this is a curious, but thought provoking set of images. I was initially attracted by the gentle tones and engaging expressions of the subjects. Then reading the underlying idea the whole thing expanded hugely.

It would be easy to dismiss this work as 'manipulative' and 'superficial' which is to miss the point entirely that SO much of the work that passes for 'the authentic face of Appalachia' is manipulative and superficial on a scale that is breathtaking.

These images by contrast are breath taking.

And I love the fact that some 'cultural tourist' passing through one day, and unaware of all of this underlying story, might later remark to a friend back in 'civilisation' that

"...you know Cynthia some of the children were wearing Gucci and Fendi, their parents might be poor but they do know how to be poor in style....."

Work like this points out the absurdity of assumption, and the power of 'place'. Great stuff and thanks for sharing it.

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