A Lighter Shade

Todd Hido's photographs are often taken from the outside looking in. His best-known subjects are suburban houses with lit windows at night, and in these shots he combines Rene Magritte's sense of twilight, Edward Hopper's stylish desolation, and David Lynch's blood relationship to American suburbs. But it's his images of country roads we love the best, even as good as the houses are. His current exhibit, “A Road Divided,” features exactly those foggy, empty, dusty lanes. The focus in this series tends to be impossibly deep, plumbing the far-off hillsides for grassland textures, but smudging up the dead tree in the foreground, using a raindrop. And although there is always something foreboding about Hido's work, he tends much more towards greys to set off his weird light than black: Sure, they look like film stills, but they'd be from a long-lost cousin of film noir – film gris. On Hido's website, Luc Sante writes: “What might be dully familiar or vaguely comforting in your own neighborhood can look desolate, forbidding, strange, if you see it somewhere else, at night, in fog.” We agree and disagree: Hido's country roads have always made us homesick, with a feeling of having once been on the inside looking out.
Oct. 24-Dec. 20, 2008

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