In his “Travels with Charley: In Search of America,” John Steinbeck describes Texas as “a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word…A Texan outside of Texas is a foreigner.” A Texan by birth, I have spent the past thirteen years living in New York and Brooklyn. I made these photographs of Texas during Houston’s Rodeo season as both a tribute and re-examination of where I grew up. By stepping back into the landscape of my youth after many years away, I am able to see this place with an outsider’s eye and native’s tongue. These images are a celebration of the strangeness and familiarity of where I came from and all that is uniquely Texan.
Sara Macel is a Brooklyn-based photographer and educator. She received her BFA in Photography and Imaging from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2003, where she received the Tobias Award for her project titled “Kiss + Tell.” Her first solo exhibition of “Rodeo Texas” was on display at +Kris Graves Projects in Brooklyn, NY during December 2009. In 2011, she earned her MFA in Photography, Video & Related Media at the School of Visual Arts. Also that year, she was named a winner in the 2011 Magenta Foundation Flash Forward competition, as well as a Top 50 Photographer in Photolucida’s Critical Mass Award, finalist in FotoVisura Spotlight Awards, and honorable mention in the New York Photo Awards. In 2012, she was named best in show at Photobook 2012! at Davis Orton Gallery in Hudson, NY and winner in the New York Photo Festival Invitational for her self-published monograph “May the Road Rise to Meet You,” which was also on display in exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art and Gallery Carte Blanche in San Francisco. “May the Road Rise to Meet You” will be released by Daylight Books in September 2013. Her work has been widely exhibited and is in various private collections, including the Harry Ransom Center and the Center of Photography at Woodstock. Sara currently teaches photography at Rockland Community College.