Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Photographer Spotlight: Todd Hido

While I'm the first to admit that I'm not up to snuff on the latest and greatest names in the art world, there is one name I always turn to when seeking inspiration. Todd Hido's photography summons an eerie sense of the beautiful and the lived-in meeting as one, suggesting that beauty comes in the broken down, the broken in, and the scuffed up.

It's Americana put through a filter. His photographs, usually of abandoned home interiors and nighttime scenes of home exteriors, are so ethereal that they are hardly recognizable as suburbia. In his nature landscapes, he turns the overcast into something far beyond blurred rain and greyscale.

This ten minute movie (source not mentioned, but linked to this polish blog) captures the full details of his artistic approach, and shows a bit about Hido's process:

What is so arresting about these landscapes, made over long exposures, is that they are thoroughly charged with emotion. They emit a sadness that isn't ever over-indulgent, and slips a sense of loneliness into situations that with any other light might seem comforting.

He brings this same sense to his portraiture, using his subjects more as conduits for the emotion than necessarily capturing their face in a way that seems typical of a portrait. They become part of the landscape, or act as landscapes themselves, in a way. It's hard not to look at over and over again, and every glance at a Hido piece illuminates something new.

If I had it my way, I'd reach a level of success where I could own a Hido of my own. Until then, I can't help but haunt his website, staring at the pictures over and over, and constantly reformulating my reactions.

Photographs copyright of Todd Hido

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