Austin is home to one of the country’s largest car shows, The Lonestar Rod & Kustom Round Up, and Texas-based photographer George Brainard has photographed it since 2003. As an editorial and commercial photographer, he found himself interested in the attendees almost more than the cars. His series of portraits from the show was recently published.
All Tore Up: Texas Hot Rod Portraits (University of Texas Press, March 2015) incorporates everyone in the scene. In a statement about the project, Brainard writes: “Hot rods and customized cars are works of art. You take an old car, cut it into pieces, and put it back together following your own vision. You bring something to life that previously existed only in your imagination.” The people who do this “are drawn to aesthetic expression, and they materialize it in their own selves, their clothes and their bodies.”