About the Photographer
American, b. 1947
As an artist and educator, Jim Stone has developed a photographic practice that encompasses both social documentary photography and work based on appropriation strategies, extending the tradition of postmodern discourse. The series Stranger Than Fiction falls into the former category. In this collection of black and white photographs, made throughout the United States, Stone explores our varied experiences as social beings while recording some of the more unusual facets of the American milieu. Many of the images are portraits of individuals or small groups, posing for the photographer in their personal enviroment. In other images, such as 950 Hats, Don's Bar: Memphis, Nebraska (1983), Stone focuses on a place itself, letting its appurtenances or general appearance suggest something about the people to whom it belongs, or about the peculiar obsessions wrapped up in American culture on a broader scale.
Below each image, Stone writes the title of the image, which functions as a caption that informs one's interpretation. Questions of context and the relationship of text and image are at play in this work. Stone underlines these issues further in the book devoted to the Stranger Than Fiction series, published in 1993. There Stone accompanies the photographs with newspaper clippings that introduce additional narrative elements. He also arranges the images on fold-out pages to provide a changing set of juxtapositions between different images, fostering the possibility of shifting interpretations.
Stone turned to photography while he was an engineering student at MIT, and he went on to complete an MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design. He is a professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of New Mexico, and has also co-authored a number of widely-used photography textbooks.