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O Little Town of West Texas

Lee Friedlander goes to homes for the holidays

Santa, Jesus and Rudolph mingle in San Angelo's hybrid of holiday symbols.
Courtesy of Texas Gallery
Santa, Jesus and Rudolph mingle in San Angelo's hybrid of holiday symbols.

In his famed series of photos from the '60s, "Little Screens," Friedlander used his perceptive eye to find oddness in the banal though haunting shots of TV screens illuminating domestic spaces. But in most of "Xmas in Texas," he's exoticizing the rural, the poor and the working class -- the people who don't watch Martha Stewart or own animatronic Christmas displays. His images of yard art don't really go beyond the superficial. Instead, Friedlander is documenting ready-made "strangeness" in a way that feels slightly patronizing. Friedlander is a pro, and these are all lovely images. But you get the sense he was seduced by his own vacation photos.

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