I have been going around to photographers asking them one question:
What was the first photo book that you can remember buying or seeing that really had a strong affect on you?
Here is Brian Ulrich’s response:
“In my early disastrous days as a graphic design student, I recall wandering into the photography classroom. Sitting upon one of the long cardboard covered tables was a copy of ‘An American Visionary: Ralph Eugene Meatyard’. Simply out of curiosity or boredom I picked it up, and began leafing through the pages but then immediately slowed. Here were all this strange photographs made for some unknown reason; kids in masks, ghostly figures in forgotten southern landscapes, aggressive camera experiments (who has the balls today to open the shutter and kick the tripod legs out from underneath them?). The photographs had a profound aura, mystique and atmosphere. I was transfixed by the fact that this man had spent so much of his time and formed his entire life and family around making these odd pictures… for what reason?
Luckily some of those answers existed in the preface by a curator named Barbara Tannenbaum. I decided then that I was going to have to find out who this woman was, even if just to thank her for making this book so it would lay upon a table for me to discover.”