"Tooth for an Eye: A Chorography of Violence in Orleans Parish (Twin Palms Publishing, 2011) is a photographic archive documenting contemporary and historical homicide sites in New Orleans, the homicide capital of the United States. The result is an exploration of the dizzyingly empty space at the core of violence. Luster approaches this invisible, excised population obliquely, with haunting, unpopulated photographs that seem to exist outside of time, simultaneously distant and chillingly close." (From Deborah Luster's website.)
Deborah Luster has been interested photographically in criminals and crime scenes since her mother, Jeanne Tovrea, was murdered by a contract killer in 1988. Because she (Deborah) had seen the killer, for the next seven years, until he was apprehended, she believed he might be after her as well. She was, in her own words, "pretty much a mess."
And here is the full story of The Murder of Jeanne Tovrea.
(Thanks to Don Norris)
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Featured Comments from:
S. Boonchai: "Thanks for this post. Deborah is a very generous soul and a great presence here in NOLA's art community. Just a FYI, she recently received a Guggenheim and will be the Keynote speaker at this year's PhotoNOLA on December 12th at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Info here."
Mike Chisholm: "A story straight out of Elmore Leonard. Or possibly George V. Higgins. Being a fan of photographer Raymond Meeks, a while ago I bought a copy of his collaboration with Deborah Luster (of whom I had never heard), Crime Victim Chronicle, the first in the "Orchard" series. I've just looked at it again, with fresh eyes. I'd say that whoever maintains that knowing a artist's back-story is irrelevant to an appreciation of their work (as many do) is, um, mistaken."