Fat Smoke: Photographs by Matthew Fuller

New Work by Matthew Fuller

Austin, TX – Matthew Fuller's body of work was born one mid-summer afternoon, as the waft of burning wood and grilled meat filled the air with the sensation of summer. He was reminded of the adage that one of Texas's greatest loves is barbecue. We all know about our beloved BBQ joints, the ones we will wait hours in line for, the ones we will drive hundreds of miles for, these are at the heart of the tradition. But what is it about BBQ that defines Texas so precisely? Of course we all love the flavor and texture of the meat itself, but if the same delicacy was served with a tablecloth and candlelight, could we still categorize it under the genre of "Texas barbecue"? Seems then, that the most distinguishing characteristic is the homegrown culture and atmosphere that surrounds the meat, as well as the dedication to its perfection.

Matthew Fuller sought to shed his own artistic light on this aspect. In order to investigate further, he had to go behind the scenes and into the pits of the early morning hours when the fires were first stoked. What resulted was a moving and grand display of texture, light, heat, and an atmospheric quality that results from the diligence of that early morning labor. As light filters through the smoke, and the stoked fires burn bright umber in preparation for the hours long process, we start to understand why it is that we love our Texas BBQ. Fuller drew out the color, texture and warmth from the pits and their surroundings, adding to it his own smoke filled flavor and style. A mysterious demeanor has now been affixed to these familiar venues, and we may never see our hometown barbeque joint the same way again.

The Statesman