After Walker Evans’ and Sherrie Levine’s Annie Mae Burroughs


The subject matter for this drawing is a photograph by Walker Evans that was made as part of the Let Us Now Praise Famous Men publication in 1941 that documented the agricultural workers of the American dustbowl.

The woman in the picture was actually photographed several times and in some of the images she’s almost smiling. When the picture was published (and different versions of her portrait exist, but people tend to think that there’s only one), her name was often changed.

Sherrie Levine ‘rephotographed’ it in 1981 and called her piece After Walker Evans. So, Annie Mae has been subject to lots of reiteration before I started work on this. I think I’ve made her look even more troubled and frowning then she is in the photograph, which is a product of the process. I tend to exaggerate tonal variation which means that frown lines deepen a little.

Technically the toughest part of the work was getting the material of here flower-patterned blouse convincing. Close-up it’s easy to see how provisional some of that work is, but in this compound image, the rhythm of the cloth as it folds and creases and turns across her shoulders is more apparent.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: