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image by
Mike Disfarmer
Bonnie Dell Gardner,1943


The name of this unshaved man with the jug ears was Meyer
until he decided,
that he was thrown by accident
into a family foreign to him.

The Meyers were of german origin,
a “Meier” being a farmer,
so Mike Meyer,
because he wasn´t a farmer, called himself “Disfarmer.”

In a little Arkansas town in the middle of nowhere,
Mike Disfarmer opened up photostudio.

No props, black backdrop,
just the northern natural light,
no say cheese,
no forced smiles,
but natural,
open moments.

Mike Disfarmer used glass negatives,
even in a time,
when everybody else already was using sheet film.

The contacts he sold
for 50 cents a piece.

For some years, it was fashionable
to visit his studio.

But times, they were changing,
as they always are,
and it is said,
that the last year
of his life,
Mike Disfarmer
survived on a diet of choclate ice cream and beer.

It is said,
that Mike Disfarmer
has been a loner,
no friendships,
never talking about his private life,
if he had one,
of course he had one.

It is said,
that the villagers
accepted him,
this strange guy,
keeping to himself,
avoiding church,
having broken
with a big family,
you remeber, Meyer,
living close by.

This odd man,
at least I imagine him to quite odd,
this man,
how was he,
to make images
like he did.

Disfarmers portraits look like
photography before photography.

There is something
very natural to his images
and his protagonists seem to be fragile, as we are all.
Fragility as a constitutive part of human existence.

More images by,
and information about Disfarmer
you`ll find here.