SOL LDN are thrilled to announce an online collection of unique Polaroid prints by British photographer, Miles Aldridge. Aldridge’s work is noted for its saturated colour, eroticism, elaborately styled set design and cinematic glamour. His often darkly humorous narratives reference the American house wife in advertising imagery from the 1950s, popular culture and Surrealism. He has stated that “Alfred Hitchcock’s ability to make ordinary things seem very strange and sinister” has been a key influence on his work. “Whether it’s making beautiful things look ugly, or very normal things look strange”, his intention is to “stop the viewer from turning the page of the magazine, at a time when images are so casually thrown away.”
When Aldridge began his career in the early 1990s, working with Polaroids was more of a common practice for photographers than it is today. Like preparatory drawings sketched by painters, Aldridge used Polaroids as ‘studies’ to pre-check the lighting, colour and composition of his work. The instantaneous nature of the medium allowed Aldridge to manipulate the scene quickly and experiment with any changes, before the shoot officially commenced. Becoming somewhat of a ritual, Aldridge still creates Polaroid ‘studies’ today when producing new work.
Spanning almost two decades of Aldridge’s career, many of these Polaroid studies pre-empted some of Aldridge’s best known series, photographs such as ‘In the Garden’ (2017) and ‘New Utopias #3’ (2018). As unique variants of these sought after works, his Polaroids have become increasingly collectable and desirable. True to his cinematic oeuvre these works are ambiguous and intriguing – taking on a life of their own, beyond their preparatory intention. Whether an exacerbated gaze from a distressed housewife or a cigarette put-out in an egg yolk, Aldridge always leaves us wanting to know more.
The ArtistMiles Aldridge was born in London in 1964, to eminent graphic designer Alan Aldridge, and was gifted his father’s Nikon F when he was 10 years old. Aldridge went on to study illustration and graphic design at Central Saint Martin’s College. After graduating, he worked briefly as both an illustrator and music video director – before moving towards photography in the early 1990s.
Aldridge moved to New York where his first commercial work was for American monthly fashion magazine W. His photographs quickly became a regular feature in international publications, including American Vogue, The New Yorker and The New York Times. Aldridge formed a particularly strong artistic partnership with Franca Sozzani, the editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue throughout the 1990s, and produced many of his most memorable and striking images for the magazine. He has worked with numerous fashion designers throughout his career including Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld.