Monday, March 31, 2008
from House Hunting
copyright Todd Hido
I was excited to learn that Todd Hido will be talking about his new monograph, Between the Two, at Aperture Gallery on Tuesday. I have long been a fan of his gorgeous photographs, and his work has been included in two group shows at Jen Bekman Gallery. His earlier books - House Hunting, Outskirts and Roaming - are staples in the night photography class I teach at the ICP. In fact, one of the assignments I give students is to research a photographer and shoot a series of photographs that reflect, exaggerate or even parody his or her style, subject matter and use of lighting. Every session, at least one student chooses Todd Hido's work, and in my current class, almost a third of the students referred to Todd Hido as their source of inspiration. His mastery of light and his ability to create a sense of mystery and mood is undeniable and almost baffling.
I do, however, find that his recent images of anonymous models in hotel rooms, which are included in his new monograph long with images of the interiors of abandoned houses, undermine the rest of his work. Aside from their technical expertise and seductive lighting, these images strike me as little more than soft porn. Or advertising shots for whiskey or luxury cigarettes.
What is sexy about most of his work is what is left to the imagination. The model shots seem too explicit, obvious and cliched. It is disappointing, really.
But nevertheless, I look forward to hearing what Todd has to share about his motivations and processes ...
547 West 27th Street, 4th Fl.
Tuesday April 1, 6:30pm