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Todd Hido – 'I Use Photography to Express Myself'

2/14/2018 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

Todd Hido
©Todd Hido 
Christie's catch up with the photographer behind the wheel of his car while cruising through the California suburbs after dark — looking to add to his celebrated series, Homes at Night

‘I’ve never had the urge to make a movie and I definitely can’t write,’ confesses Ohio-born photographer Todd Hido. ‘Photography is the thing I use to express myself, or to figure myself out.’ Driving through the suburbs of San Francisco, he pauses occasionally to train his camera on a building that could be the next in his celebrated series, Homes at Night.

‘I always gravitate towards some place that looks like home,’ Hido continues, explaining that his aim is to find a house lit by a single window — a quiet indication of the life that is at the heart of the series. These photographs, he insists, ‘really aren’t about houses. They’re about people.’

Back at his studio, Hido muses, ‘The thing I like about photography is that it can’t talk.’ He cites the photographer Lewis Baltz — renowned for his stark shots of cityscapes — as someone who placed photography somewhere ‘between literature and film’. That space is one that Hido gladly occupies, creating charged images that hint at a narrative only partially seen or remembered.

‘[My photography] is very much led by intuition. I’m piecing together stories about people.’ Alongside his own work, Hido collects abandoned images, arranging them to create monographs that he calls ‘paper movies’. Found in thrift stores, these photographs of unknown people and interiors become ‘cogs in a narrative wheel’.

‘I’m a portrait photographer, I’m a night photographer, I collect found photographs, and the reason I do that is that they’re all components that I’m able to pull together to create a story,’ says Hido. ‘There’s a communication that happens between people and pictures… that’s a really wonderful thing.’


About Todd Hido:

Todd Hido is a San Francisco Bay Area-based artist whose work has been featured in Artforum, The New York Times Magazine, Eyemazing, Wired, Elephant, FOAM, and Vanity Fair. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the Getty, the Whitney Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young, the Smithsonian, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Pier 24 Photography, as well as in many other public and private collections. He has over a dozen published books; his most recent monograph titled Excerpts from Silver Meadows was released in 2013, along with an innovative b-sides box set designed to function as a companion piece to his award-winning monograph in 2014. Aperture will publish his mid-career survey in 2016.  Let's Get Connected:

Text, image and video via Christie's

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