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NAME: Anthony Two Moons  
NATION: Southern Arapaho  


Anthony Two Moons, a Southern Arapaho American Indian, grew up in Colorado and Arizona, before he moved to New York. "My Indian background doesn't have any bearing on my photography." says Two Moons. Though he does explore Native American themes when he paints.

The pictures seen here (May 2003 issue of Not Only Black + White), for example, owe a lot more to the 36-year-old photographer's interest in surrealist photography than his cultural background. The idea was to attempt to capture something of the spirit of Man Ray without resorting to anything slavish or obvious. "I think when a lot of people attempt that sort of project they emulate the work directly." says Two Moons. "I wanted to get inside his head more, to try and figure out what he was about rather than try to make pictures that just looked like his. I'm interested in the surrealism he brought to photography. Like the beautiful destruction of the image-that's the sort of think that inspired the shoot."

In order to "keep it all Man Ray," Two Moons didn't use Photoshop or any Post-Production effects. The shot of the woman framed by the halo-like scrawl (see website: gets its distinctive look from the most high-tech of accessories-chalk. "I just drew on the wall around her-Man Ray did a lot of that sort of thing, Just a little bit of a collage effect, but, you have to make it your own. So far no one who's seen these photos had referred back to Man Ray, and I take that as a compliment."

Two Moons likes painting almost as much as he does taking pictures. When the time came for him to choose which of the disciplines the thought he could pursue as a career, the decision came down to the human factor. "The thing that tipped it for me." he says, "was the realization that to be a good painter you have to be somewhat introverted." Curiosity saw him taking up photography professionally. "I was curious. Curious to learn what that world was about and the people were like."

Painting is still a part of Two Moons' life, however, "it's different-it's based on my point of view as an Indian. People say they can see a connection between my painting and photography, but for me the painting is quite political, while the photography is primarily about the aesthetic and interaction with the subject." Text by Pat Nourse


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