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David Politzer (Houston, TX), 3 Contenders, 2010. From the series Heavy Weights

David Politzer
Houston, Texas


David Politzer investigates the social construction of masculinity. In this series of works, the Houston artist has turned his lens to the giant pumpkin growers of rural Pennsylvania. With cult-like zeal, the farmers that the artist documents work towards the ultimate prize: claiming the heaviest pumpkin in the Ohio River Valley. Last year’s winner was 1663 pounds and in 2009 a member of the club set the world record with a 1725 pound pumpkin. In the up close photographs, the painted numbers on the skin of the undulating folds of pumpkin flesh indicate the weight of the gigantic gourds. The other photographs follow award-winning growers from the area. From seed incubation to weigh-off championship, the photographs celebrate the agricultural feat while slyly meditating on the anthropomorphic analogies offered by the obese veggies.


David Politzer was born in Washington D.C. and has since lived in upstate New York; Boston, Massachusetts; Brooklyn, New York; Glasgow, Scotland; Oakland, California; Roswell, New Mexico; Youngstown, Ohio; and now Houston, Texas.  He holds a M.F.A from Syracuse University, New York.  Mr. Politzer’s work was shown recently at the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe; Vox Populi, Philadelphia; video dumbo, Brooklyn and in a solo exhibition at the Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff.  He has participated in artist-in-residence programs at Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, New York; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine; Roswell Artist-in-Residence, The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, New Mexico; Vermont Studio Center, Johnson; and the Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, California.  He currently teaches at the University of Houston in the photography and digital media department.