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Matinee: 'A Studio Visit With Todd Hido' Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

3 July 2021

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 403rd in our series of Saturday matinees today: A Studio Visit With Todd Hido.

In this 4:33 video from 2017, San Francisco photographer Todd Hido invites us along for a ride as he scouts for more images to add to his series Homes at Night, which he considers his first mature work.

Hido's work has appeared in 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, SFMOMA, the de Young, the Smithsonian and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others. Pier 24 Photography houses the archive of all of his published works.

'Photography can't talk.'

But, like a lot of guys who were born in the 1960s, he likes to tool around at night in his car. In his case, it's the houses with lights (or just a light) on that attracts him like a moth.

Not a party house with the lights blazing and the roof rocking but after the place has "quieted down a bit." Until, he says, it looks like home.

He ends up with photographs that "really aren't about houses. They're about people."

Imaginary people, perhaps. You don't see them. You imagine them. Behind the blue window, someone watching TV. Behind the yellow drapery, someone reading the paper. Behind the bright kitchen curtains, someone doing the dishes.

"Photography can't talk," Hido says as we peek around his studio. It's somewhere between literature and film, he quotes Lewis Baltz. But it too tells a story.

We see him working in Lightroom, making prints, shuffling the prints, cutting them, putting them into "some other place."

And we see his images, spliced in between live shots. But it's just a taste of what Hido does with photography.

"There's a communication that happens between people and pictures," he says. "That's a really wonderful thing."

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