About the Book
Matthew Fuller's body of work "Fat Smoke" was born one mid-summer afternoon, as the waft of burning wood and grilled meat filled the air with the sensation of summer. He was reminded of the adage that one of Texas's greatest loves is barbecue.
We all know about our beloved BBQ joints, the ones we will wait hours in line for, the ones we will drive hundreds of miles for, these are at the heart of the tradition. But what is it about BBQ that defines Texas so precisely? Of course we all love the flavor and texture of the meat itself, but if the same delicacy was served with a tablecloth and candlelight, could we still categorize it under the genre of "Texas barbecue?" Seems then, that the most distinguishing characteristic is the homegrown culture and atmosphere that surrounds the meat, as well as the dedication to its perfection.
Fuller sought to shed his own artistic light on this aspect. In order to investigate further, he had to go behind the scenes and into the pits in the early morning hours when the fires were first stoked. What resulted was a moving and grand display of characteristic and atmospheric quality that results from the diligence of that early morning labor. As light filters through the smoke, and the stoked fires burn bright umber in preparation for the hours long process, we start to understand why it is that we love our Texas BBQ. Fuller drew out the color, texture and warmth from the pits and their surroundings, adding to it his own smoke filled flavor and style. A mysterious demeanor has now been affixed to these familiar venues, and we may never see our hometown barbeque joint the same way again.
Working in both the classical traditions of photography and state of the art digital manipulation, Matthew Fuller creates beautiful color and black and white images that resonate with a sense of place and carry an emotional charge. He maintains personal hands on control of the photographic process from concept to print. A self-taught artist, Fuller has diligently pursued his craft since 1987. He began his career in Austin shooting for Texas Monthly's Domain Magazine and various architects, but his most acclaimed work is the product of self-assigned projects exploring Havana, Paris, Italy, Rio de Janeiro, Texas and the desert Southwest. Fuller currently maintains his studio and lives in the Central Texas town of Wimberley.