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Thor Johnson’s State Fair of Texas

Editor’s note: Between 2005 and 2008, Dallas artist Thor Johnson visited the annual State Fair of Texas at Dallas’ Fair Park and photographed moments that stood out to him. He shared them with friends. At the time, the New York-based artist Tom Moody wrote of them:

“It’s fall, and that means it’s time for another installment of Thor Johnson’s Texas State Fair Photos. The photos really strike a chord with me — they’re like the perfect combo of love and hate, sarcasm and pathos. Somebody could probably take the same ‘kind’ of photos at Coney Island in NY, but I don’t think anyone here hates Coney Island or its denizens. Whereas, Texas (especially Dallas, where these are taken) has this layer of righteousness that suffuses ordinary ignorance and exploitation, making it seem more pernicious. I know Johnson loathes the false piety but as I said, there is also love in these photos. I went to the State Fair a number of times and it was always a kick.”

Below are some selections from Johnson’s collection of State Fair images. Captions are his.

No Alcohol

Hummer Lust

Hummer Lust

Til Gabriel Blows

’till Gabriel Blows

2nd Place Doll

2nd Place Doll

Photo Op

Photo Op

Sweet Sweet Freedom

Sweet Sweet Freedom

General Lee

General Lee

Alligator Crocodile

Alligator Crocodile

Angry Woman

Angry Woman

Fat Albert

Fat Albert

Super Obama

Super Obama

Fun House

Fun House

Boomer Sooner

Boomer Sooner

Free Scooter

Free Scooter

Body Paint

Body Paint

Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny

Stuffed Animals

Stuffed Animals

Corny Dog Lady

Corny Dog Lady

ApocalypsePreacher

Apocalypse Preacher

 

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