Mummers Parade, Philadelphia
Burk Uzzle, American, born 1938
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Though he photographs throughout the United States in search of what he calls "the great turbulent spirit of America," Uzzle is particularly fond of the city of Philadelphia and its annual Mummers Parade, deeming it "the most amazing thing I have ever seen anywhere. Mummers spend vast amounts of money and time on their costumes, and on New Year's Day put on this elaborate dress, unleash extraordinary quantities of spirit (not to mention spirits), and become living art." This exquisite Mummer, covered in glimmering paint, beads, and fabric, dangles a cigarette languidly from his lips, seemingly unaware of Uzzle's camera. Curiously, he appears introspective rather than engaged with the wildly spectacular occasion.