One, One Thousand | Southern Photography


My Aggravatin' Ways
by Aaron Canipe

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Project statement:

Several months ago I accidentally cut myself across the hand with a serrated knife. It's now a long, dark path across the meat of my hand that converges perfectly with the natural creases and life lines already present. It connects my fortunes with misfortunesinnate and createdlife with death.

A few days later, my grandfather passed away. The news came swiftly and robbed me of this vague notion I had of his immortality. I felt somehow this man raised in rural North Carolina, who after his tenure in the United States Army, worked at a factory for 30-odd years to support his family, could avert death. But he was simply that: a man. A man of staunch independence and firm determination in love and faith.

This project is a result of attempting to understand Sam Canipe and ultimately traveling home for his funeral and experiencing life as he knew it in his house the only way a camera can. As I mentally tip-toed through the house and yard that he called his own for the past 10 years, I began to seek out symbols. The concrete statues became dilapidated versions of our own mortality, bags on conveyor belts became coffin-like, and I saw jobs and tasks left undone all of which seemed to point to a Higher calling.

And after investigating his world, I realized his life had always seemed to point to something greater and perhaps spiritual. Like the scar on my hand, the sorrows of death were fading away, only to reveal and follow the line of life past the grave and into a peaceful and natural afterlife.


Bio and contact:

Aaron Canipe was born in Hickory, North Carolina. He is enrolled in the BFA fine art photography program at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, DC.

His work not only serves as a means to convey his story from his part of America but also as a means of preserving the fleeting. He poses answers to the world around him in the form of metaphors. What remains is a meeting of ideas with a long, slow drawl. The mystery and the manner, the stigmata of being a Southerner, and Christian ideals in a secular yet staunch America.

Aaron's documentation of the American South is informational and introspective. He finds religious and nonreligious ephemera and personal symbology in a breaded and deep-fried landscape. His work is approached with a childlike trust in God and family and a humor situated between the dark and dry.


Aaron Canipe is a Washington, DC, based photographer.
To view more of his work, please visit his website:
You can also contact him by e-mail: