Friday, April 10, 2009

Matt Hoyle's Barnumville

They are a series of black and white portraits of sideshow performers called "Barnumville". Over 3 weeks, Matt photographed nearly 30 portraits of physically amazing people including performers from the two remaining "freakshows" (as they call themselves).

"It's about a fictitious town in 1940's Florida inhabited by sideshow performers of all shapes and sizes. It's inspired by the real life town of Gibsonton Florida which used to be an active vacation town for wintering circus folk. I was lucky enough to shoot many known sideshow performers and physically intriguing characters who are in the last remaining sideshows in America, Coney Island Sideshow and 999 Eyes Freakshow from Austin Texas."

The portraits are beautiful with a cinematic quality and the raw personality of the people he photographed coming right through. The images are intense but so beautiful in the stark black and white he's presented to the viewers. Instead of seeing the bold bright colors of the circus we see in ads and on TV today, it's like Matt has transported us back to the 30's when the circus was a traveling show of animals, trainers, working men and best of all the side show freaks.

The images include a Lobster Clawed Man, a Giant, Sword Swallowers, Little People, Fire Breathers, Clowns, a Serpent Lady, a Tattooed Lady and more...

Check out more of the work here:

all images ©Matt Hoyle
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