I visited Chelsea Market in New York City and came across these photographs by Dave Mead, when a passer-by caught me LOLing by myself in public space and thought I was crazy or something. I shrugged my shoulders and continued to roam the entire building to catch the rest of this amazing and funny series of photography that was carefully placed throughout Chelsea Market. I would have posted original images of the photographs mounted on large gold painted wood framing, but the halogen lighting was not friendly to the camera. From what I could see, the photographs generated a lot of questions and discussions as well as kids pointing and laughing. At one point, there is an suspended wooden frame for people to pose behind a drawn mustache to photograph themselves. That was a BIG hit.
My inquiring mind had to ask Dave Mead some questions about this series, "Magnificent Specimens". Dave Mead is from Austin, Texas. He heard about "The World Beard and Mustache Championships" in Anchorage, Alaska. In 2009, Dave contacted the event organizers and informed them that he was interested in shooting. Dave said, "After a brief introduction, they decided it was in their best interest to fly me Anchorage, provide me with a tour guide and per diem." He continued, "All contestants came dressed and ready. I simply sat each contestant in front of my camera, fed him a sandwich and directed him."
Dave Mead informed Monzuki that the photography was not part of the competition, but they were used them to promote Beard Nationals in Bend, Oregon. If you are in New York City, I recommend paying a visit to Chelsea Market and view these prints in person. The exhibition ends June 30. If you are not in the area or missed the show, you may view them on Dave Mead's website as well as prints for sale.