Aaron Blum is a proud eighth-generation Scots-Irish Appalachian from the mountains of West Virginia who has lived in Pittsburgh since 2010. He has always been aware of the views that others hold of his home, and his artwork is a product of his exploration of what it means to be Appalachian. After graduating with degrees in photography from West Virginia University and Syracuse University, Aaron immediately began receiving recognition for his work including the Juror’s Choice Award at Center: Santa Fe, Critical Mass Top 50, and an Emerging Artist Honorable Mention from the Magenta Foundation. His work has been featured by Fraction Magazine, CNN, BBC and Flakphoto, among others, and is in the permanent collection at both the Haggerty Museum of Art and the Houston Museum of Fine Art. Today we take a look at his on-going series A Guide to Folk Taxonomy.
A Guide To Folk Taxonomy
Appalachia pulls at me like a haunted memory. It is a place of nebulous forests, moss blankets and dark corners where secrets are kept and folklore thrives.
Human nature moves us to classify the things that make up our world. We describe our culture and surroundings through self-made dialect called folk taxonomy. This type of language and folklore helps to create and sustain regional identities and pass our existence on to future generations.
A Guide To Folk Taxonomy infuses Appalachian mystery with pseudo-scientific study as well as personal experience as a lifetime Appalachian resident. I see this place through idealized eyes of wonder. These images are my folklore.
To view more of Aaron’s work, please visit his website.
Aaron is also a featured artist in our newest issue From Here On. Pre-order your copy now!