San Francisco

Todd Hido

Wirtz Art

The houses in Todd Hido’s new color photographs all exude an eerie stillness. The middle-class homes of a certain fraying age that serve almost exclusively as his subject are shrouded in the atmospheric light of wintry dusk or the motionless darkness of late evening. Sometimes there’s a car parked out front, but there’s never a human figure in sight. There might be a light on in the window, a square that sometimes glows a fluorescent white or a more welcoming golden hue, yet no one invites us in; the dried-out, overgrown lawns and streets seem to serve as suburban moats.

Relatively long exposures shot without added lighting, the photographs are theatricalized portraits of humble abodes in California, Utah, Michigan, Ohio—the latter drab American settings that provide Hido the opportunity to explore the glittering pictorial possibilities bf snow, a task he manages rather well. His instincts

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