Athens Photographer Documents “A Tropical Appalachia”

Posted on:

< < Back to

When Athens resident Attila Horvath isn't busy with his landscaping business, writing songs or biking through the hills and hollows of Southeast Ohio, he can usually be found behind the camera lens.

His latest photo exhibit, Rusted, Burned, Abandoned, is on display at the Athens Public Library throughout the month of February.

The show is filled with striking images of junked vehicles, burned-out buildings and abandoned structures, all shot on Andros Island in The Bahamas.

"It's a poor, rural place, with no shortage of dilapidated buildings, cars up on blocks and shipwrecks. It's kind of a tropical Appalachia, really," said Horvath.

Although this is only his second exhibition (the photos were displayed two years ago at Casa Nueva), Horvath's camera work goes back decades.

"I first became interested in high school. I took a course that combined ecology and photography my senior year; that's the first time I approached photography with a purpose other than wanting to get a fun snapshot," he explained.

When Horvath set out for The Bahamas, snapshots and "selfies" were not on the agenda. However, long walks were, and he made sure to document the island's unique environment during his daily excursions.

"At first, I didn't have a mission, but the subject matter and style of shooting quickly took shape," he said. "I was intrigued with trying to make a beautiful image out of ugliness. The rust holes on the side of an old bus, the stains and scratches on a pole, and the rotten wood and broken fiberglass of an abandoned boat all became subjects."

Rusted, Burned, Abandoned will be exhibited in the library's Circulation Area through Feb. 27. A reception will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information about Atilla Horvath's photography, visit