The Austin Chronicle

'Drinking & Driving'

Photographers Ashley Watson and Chris Evans snap private moments in public settings

By Caitlin Greenwood, December 7, 2012, Arts

On Friday, Dec. 7, Pump Project Satellite's Flex Space debuts "Drinking & Driving," featuring photography from Ashley Watson and Chris Evans. The show plays upon intimate moments contrasted against public settings. For Watson, this manifests as images of partiers on Sixth Street taken from her Festival of Cruelty series. The subjects of Watson's work stand as monolithic figures amidst a brewing, drunken chaos. It is an undeniably captivating train wreck in which alcohol has created an accidental cast of performers.

Evans' series draws attention to the personal instances unnoticed in the bustle of roadway traffic. His images, part of his Thank the Romans series, depict the concealed moments experienced by individuals while commuting. It is a voyeuristic approach, offering sharp contrast to Waston's bawdy subjects, who seem all too enthusiastic to pose for the camera. Evans' soft portraits catch people in an objective position. Their perceived anonymity offers a natural tone as they unwittingly become subjects.

Both artists exult in discarding the assumption of privacy. Watson hones in on her subjects' vulnerability but never exploits it. Evans creates more distance in his photography, allowing his subjects to maintain composure without the noticeable presence of a camera. Watson and Evans remind their audience that anything in the public eye is fair game, and the guise of obscurity that we believe to be steadfast is easily eroded.

"Drinking & Driving" runs Dec. 7-22, at Pump Project Satellite's Flex Space, 1109 Shady. An opening reception will be held Friday, Dec. 7, 7-11pm. For more information, visit

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