Words by Gabriel Rees
It’s hard to say whether Miles Aldridge rejects photographic norms so much as takes them to their most extreme, yet perhaps most logical, conclusion. Darkly comic, hyper saturated subversions of fashion, advertisement and glamour pervade Aldridge work, turning a sort of kaleidoscopic magnifying glass onto the more disturbing aspects of contemporary consumer culture.
Flawless plastic icons, vibrant colours, sumptuous scenery and a rich use of both the metaphoric and the mundane subtly confront the viewer with themes of popular culture, religion, commerce and sex. Subversively regurgitating established visual tropes of women as sex objects and domesticated tools, Aldridge hides his condemnations in plain sight beneath a glossy mirage of excess, ambushing the viewer with uncanny normality.
Known for his dynamic use of intricate lighting and vibrant colour as a means to explore and express emotion, Aldridge’s elaborate yet accessible mise-en scene draws on his background as filmmaker to distil broadly cinematic tales into single frames. Indeed, he seems to find a greater sense of narrative truth and meaning in fiction, be a it a sort of hyper fiction, than in reality itself; using his photography to tell a story, rather than to capture one. Ultimately, his work drives us to question our expectations of imagery, laying bare the troubling nature of the visual language we’ve come to accept form contemporary culture and forcing us to confront our place as a complicity consumer of this unhealthy unreality.
Miles Aldridge is represented by 2b Management.