Crazy from the Heat
by James H. Evans
No one has ever captured the vicious wonders of the Big Bend area of Texas quite like James H. Evans. Deciding that he wanted to dedicate his life to the region, the photographer moved to Marathon, Texas, almost 23 years ago. He was so enthralled by the surrounding landscapes, wildlife, and people that he knew he could make it his lifework.
Two decades later, Evans is still just as inspired. In his latest photography book, Crazy from the Heat, he presents his greatest ode to Big Bend, from its heavenly views to its hellish conditions. In the afterword, Evans writes, “I love Big Bend. I love the desert. I love the heat. I love the mountains. I love seeing whole storm systems form, build, and dissipate. I love knowing what phase the moon is in, and seeing the stars and constellations, and the feeling that I am living on a planet. I love seeing wild animals and trying to communicate with them.”
Evans also mentions one of the most difficult problems with photographing Big Bend: “A friend of mine said, ‘There are thirty pictures of the park, and everybody takes them.’ ” And anyone who has looked through tourism books about the area can agree. However, upon first opening this book it becomes immediately obvious that it is no travel guide. Paging through the collection, you see unique and wholly original images of geographical phenomenon, Chihuahua dog races, spiked amphibians, venomous crawlers and slitherers, cowboys, storefronts, artists, and animal carcasses. You undergo a range of emotions — from shock to bewilderment to awe to grief. Combined, all the images create an outstanding glimpse at a surreal and savage world.
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