A new exhibition of Todd Hido’s work, A Road Divided, is opening at the Stephen Wirtz Gallery In San Francisco on October 22nd. After getting a preview with the image he contributed to the Art for Obama auction, I am completely transfixed with the erie, moody, and dare I say, beautiful images.
“Driving lonely roads on the outskirts of American cities, Hido creates poignant images filled with inexplicable gravity, cinematic scenes of places that somehow reside in our collective memory, in a paradoxical realm where sense of place and a sense of displacement co-exist. In these new pictures, Hido demonstrates his fluidity within the daytime realm, putting aside the harder edge that characterizes his night work by photographing through veils of rain or ice. Delicately, potently embracing the beauty of the pictorial, Hido’s new pictures present an image plane that is often fully disintegrated, recalling impressionist painting. With an unquestionably modern affect, he often frames the compositions from inside his car, photographing straight through the windshield, using it as an additional lens and bringing the immediacy of a fleeting moment to these stationary scenes. The visionary experience he records unfolds from close, patient observation. Chance patterns of sprinkling raindrops on the windshield and sunlight breaking the shrouded sky combine to luminous yet unsettling effect
While Hido embraces the aesthetic, he does so with a critical eye. His vision is one of austerity, of America as an empty place, evidenced by crossroads, dead-end streets, broken trees, and highways that never end. Moody and psychological, his landscapes are metaphors for personal emotions, evoking dark things that keep us awake at night. And they are, in a larger sense, a remarkable record of the American Psyche at this moment in history. In them, we find the hopeful, but possibly final, turn-off in the road before the bridge to nowhere.”
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