Bacon, Warsaw, N.C.
Artist DetailsName: J. Henry Fair.
Artwork DetailsDate of Work: 2008
Subject: Abstract, Landscape
Period: 21st Century
Dimensions: 70 x 50 inches
Credit: Courtesy of the artist
A Charleston native, J. Henry Fair moved to New York City in 1980 to pursue a career in photography. For decades he enjoyed success making portraits of many of the world’s notable singers, musicians, and performers–his clientele has ranged from Yo Yo Ma to Emmylou Harris. However, in recent years, his passion for the environment has been the driving force in his career. Fair’s Industrial Scars series began in 2000. Drawn to sites where the land has been drastically changed by the mining or manufacturing of coal, petroleum, fertilizer, or paper pulp, Fair documents the devastating effects of industrial processes on our landscapes.
A self-described environmental activist, Fair originally set out to record these sites to inspire both environmental reforms, and changes to consumer behavior; however, while flying above acres of toxic wastes spilling into waterways and covering the landscape, he discovered an unexpected beauty in his subject. He began to see intriguing shapes, patterns, and mesmerizing colors in the wastelands. Fair’s photographs became more abstract, and surprisingly pleasing to the eye. Bacon depicts a hog fecal-waste lagoon in Warsaw, North Carolina, that formed as a result of waste run-off from industrial hog farming.