Todd Hido’s Homes At Night (apartments) series are documentations of various living spaces in the nighttime exterior. Luc Sante writes on Hido’s Homes At Night (houses), “Isolated on the frame, almost like portrait subjects, the houses exist in a still twilight that can leave a viewer wondering whether someone is home watching television or absent owners are trying to ward off prowler”. Ranging from small one-floor spaces to apartment complexes, the photos investigate a sense of melancholy while exploring the possibilities of light in the night setting. Objects such as cars, fences, and shopping carts frame the photos and the vessel they are focusing on, which is the often alienating looking apartment spaces.I see these photos as not only documenting an aura of desolation, but also testing the possibilities of artificial/natural light and the hue of colors that exist not only in day, but also readily so at night. The work of Todd Hido is especially relevant to the kind of photos I have been taking recently, which focus mostly on the nighttime exterior of specific urban locations both flooded with natural dark light and artificial city lights.
One of the shows I attended was at the Kavi Gupta gallery, titled Backwards Towards Forwards. The artist displaying work was Chris Johanson (b. 1968), who has displayed work at exhibitions such as the 2002 Whitney Biennial. The artist wrote in his statement that, “The exhibit is about restorative energy and healing through art.” Initially I was drawn to the space due to the grouping of large, slightly idiosyncratic paintings that created an installation of juxtaposed form and line. True to the artists’ statement is the optimism of the pieces that housed an aura of craft and painterly curiosity. The shapes and forms created in the paintings are joyful and tasteful, but I was still searching for something more behind the work and the sizable presence it had within the gallery. Perhaps the spacing of the pieces worked both for and against them: on one hand the cluster of work in a (primarily) single room created an environment that steered close to interaction, but also made it difficult to view the pieces intimately to further investigate them. My favorite piece: Suburban Night Painting #2.