In celebration of Galveston Historical Foundation’s 150th anniversary, a new collection of photographs taken by noted photographer and actor Jason Lee is now available. Galveston, published by Galveston Historical Foundation and Film Photographic, is limited to 2,500 copies and features 100 4×5 and 35mm color and black-and-white film photographs made on the island in November 2020.
“As our world struggled through the tragic pandemic in 2020, GHF conceived of a project to capture the historic barrier island where we live. We sought contemporary imagery that left uncensored who we are and what we look like at this extraordinary time and invited a critical observer set behind a camera lens to capture us, the good and bad, and to make his mark on our historical timeline,” states Dwayne Jones, Galveston Historical Foundation’s Executive Director. “GHF toasts to Jason Lee and his band of visionaries for adding another layer of history. Join us as we celebrate GHF at 150 years of challenges and accomplishments and all the many who encouraged, supported, and led us to where we are today. We invite each of you to find your place in our history through Jason’s beautiful landscape of images.”
ABOUT JASON LEE
A native of Southern California, Jason Lee is a film photographer, actor, producer, and director. Having established a successful career as a professional skateboarder during skateboarding’s pivotal late 80s and early 90s period, Lee would go on to pursue acting in 1994, which would lead to working in film, television, and voiceover, and with such directors as Kevin Smith, Cameron Crowe, Lawrence Kasdan, and Rebecca Miller. Despite retiring from skateboarding in 1995, Lee continued co-managing Stereo Skateboards with co-founder and former professional skateboarder Chris Pastras. In 2017, the two longtime friends celebrated the company’s 25-year-anniversary.
In 2002, Lee developed a passion for photography and dedicated himself to pursuing the medium as a creative profession. His photographic works have since been featured in multiple group, and solo exhibitions, magazines, and books, with 2018’s A PLAIN VIEW representing the debut publication for Film Photographic, the Instagram film community gallery and photography book publisher Lee founded in 2015. In June 2019, Lee hosted OK: Jason Lee Photographs at Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma, his first-ever solo museum exhibition. The exhibition showcased a selection of color and black-and-white film photographs made throughout Oklahoma during six months in 2018 and presented through December 2019. A book of selected works from the set will be released at a later date. In December 2020, UK publisher Stanley/Barker released IN THE GOLD DUST RUSH, a 112-page book featuring a selection of Lee’s previously unpublished American black-and-white film photographs spanning 2008 to 2020.
Between the months of January and April of 2017, I roamed Texas sporadically with my old Speed Graphic 4×5 camera for what turned out to be 25 days and roughly 5000 miles. I’d moved to Texas just two years prior and thought it only made sense to see more of the big state than I’d seen before as a visiting photographer. And so, I did. Up into the Panhandle, a bit east, central, south, and West Texas. 111 of the 298 exposures I made would end up being printed in the 2018 book A PLAIN VIEW. But no matter how many miles and real estate I’d covered on those travels, I never thought to make it far enough south to meet Galveston. And then, perhaps ironically, Galveston Historical Foundation contacted me in May of 2020 to see if I might like to extend my ‘Texas series’ by making photographs in Galveston. I was happy to accept the offer, as perhaps the whole of my Texas story had yet to be completed. And so that November I drove my car from Los Angeles, where I was living once more, to Galveston with my cameras, in the passenger seat my friend and fellow photographer Raymond Molinar who would assist me in my efforts to document as strange and beautiful a land as I’d ever seen while also making not only behind-the-scenes photographs of my process but his own photographs of this remarkably standstill place. And the payoff of the experience is not just that I’ve now seen more of Texas than I ever thought I would but that this new book would stand as my favorite thus far, if not an extension of the mainland Texas photographs before it.