Patrick Cruzan BFA Thesis Fall 2010
Harlan Arthur Flint of Mid-Valley Farm
The work that I have created is an attempt to develop a complex portrait of a single person, eschewing traditional definitions. My subject is Harlan Arthur Flint, my maternal great-uncle. He is the last patriarch of the Flint family, caretaker of the farm on which he has lived his entire life, and on which his family has lived and worked since the early 1860s. I explore Harlan’s life and the ability of photography and text to preserve and convey a rich document of it. The conceptual lineage that I am tracing in this art begins with Alfred Stieglitz’s extended portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe, and continues through the Great Depression with the writings of James Agee, accompanied by photographs from Walker Evans. On these pillars I build my definition and my work.