I Only Want You To Love Me
Steven Kasher Gallery
8 May – 8 June 2013
Miles Aldridge: I Only Want You to Love Me, a retrospective of the internationally renowned British artist’s cinematic fashion-based work. The 20 large-scale color photographs in the exhibition present a satirical, darkly humorous view of women, fashion, and commodification today. Aldridge creates an entirely believable world just slightly beyond our own: hyper-sexualized, hyper-materialistic, and full of dread. Think Stepford Wives on acid.
This exhibition launches Aldridge’s two new books: Miles Aldridge: I Only Want You to Love Me (Rizzoli, 2013, introduction by Glenn O’Brien), and Other Pictures (Editions 7L/Steidl, 2013). This is the artist’s second show at Steven Kasher Gallery.
In Miles Aldridge: I Only Want You to Love Me the viewer is transported to a fantastically opulent dreamlike world populated by beautiful flawlessly dressed women playing stereotypical female roles, such as ‘secretary,’ ‘soccer mom,’ ‘housewife,’ and ‘vamp.’ But there is something wrong in these meticulously composed scenes. Aldridge’s women are strangely disengaged. It is as if the pressure of being an object of desire 24/7 has become too much to endure. They are on the verge of nervous breakdowns. What to buy, how to afford it, how to do it all? Why does my daughter hate me, will he still love me tomorrow, why am I knifing this cake??
Aldridge, born in 1964, lives and works in London. Fashion icons have surrounded him all his life. His father worked with the Beatles, the Stones, David Bailey, and Terence Stamp. His three sisters are prominent models; he has been married to a supermodel.
Aldridge is first of all an artist of the subconscious, and secondly a fashion photographer. The anxious narratives of his dream-driven style have been compared to Bergman, Bunuel, Hitchcock, and David Lynch. While decidedly postmodern, his work is infused with Pop imagery of the 1960s, and the Kodachrome and Technicolor palette of 1950s Hollywood. Aldridge delivers a lavish onslaught of unease: a bare-breasted ‘blonde’ eating lobster and caviar, a ‘brunette’ skewered by a carousel, a ‘school girl’ engulfed in too many teddy bears.
Aldridge’s work has been exhibited worldwide; his photographs reside in many significant public and private collections. His previously published books of photographs include The Cabinet, 2007, with an introduction by Marilyn Manson; Acid Candy, 2008; and Miles Aldridge: Pictures for Photographs, 2009.