Monday, November 10, 2008

David Hilliard

The other day, one of the undergrads introduced me to the work of David Hilliard. I was immediately captivated by his images. He generally works in diptychs or triptychs of individual images with negative space allowed between. He makes no effort to apply these images to a seamless reality or panoramic, but allows for variation in time and angle to highlight the pervasive physical and emotional distances imaged in the pieces. Not only do many of the images stand on their own, together they have a wonderful narrative and psychological quality. Take a look at these few images but go to his site as well to see many more.

Below is Hilliard's artist statement from his website.

"For years I have been actively documenting my life and the lives of those around me, recording events and attempting to create order in a sometimes chaotic world. While my photographs focus on the personal, the familiar and the simply ordinary, the work strikes a balance between autobiography and fiction. Within the photographs physical distance is often manipulated to represent emotional distance. The casual glances people share can take on a deeper significance, and what initially appears subjective and intimate is quite often a commentary on the larger contours of life.

For me, the construction of panoramic photographs, comprised of various single images, acts as a visual language. Focal planes shift, panel by panel. This sequencing of photographs and shifting of focal planes allows me the luxury of guiding the viewer across the photograph, directing their eye; an effect which could not be achieved through a single image.

I continually aspire to represent the spaces we inhabit, relationships we create, and the objects with which we surround ourselves. I hope the messages the photographs deliver speak to the personal as well as the universal experience. I find the enduring power and the sheer ability of a photograph to express a thought, a moment, or an idea, to be the most powerful expression of myself, both as an artist, and as an individual."