About the Photographer
American, b. 1978
My grandmother gets her hair permed monthly and "done" weekly at a double wide trailer converted to a hair salon. I asked to go along with her to the appointment and was actually very surprised she allowed me to photograph her mid-perm. … The owner of the taxidermy shop wanted to make sure I wasn't "some kinda animal rights activist" before I took the picture. The customer write-ups are stapled directly to the mounted animals. – Misty Keasler, March 2, 2005
The photographs from Misty Keasler's East Texas Series document her father's family's historic home in the area near the towns of Longview and Tyler in East Texas. One of the more rural areas of Texas, East Texas has been compared to Appalachia in its sense of culture and remoteness. Almost all of the people in the pictures are Keasler's relatives; the subject of Momma Key's Monthly Perm, for instance, is Keasler's grandmother. From a beauty salon housed in a doublewide trailer to the status of hunting suggested in Taxidermy Showroom, Keasler captures the habits and hobbies of the area.
Misty Keasler was born in Houston, Texas on April 28, 1978. Keasler graduated from Columbia College Chicago with honors in 2001. She received the 2003 Dorthea Lange-Paul Taylor prize from the Center for Documentary Studies, was named by Photo Distric News as one of the "25 under 25 up-and-coming American photographers" in 2003, and was made an artist in residence at University of Dallas, Texas in 2005. Keaseler's work has been collected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Kiyasoto Museum of Photographic Arts in Japan. Keasler lives and works in Dallas, Texas.