Vivid screams: Miles Aldridge’s psychedelic dreamworld – in pictures

By Mee-Lai Stone

2 February 2022

Viewers beware! These acid-drenched mise-en-scénes have a glamorous, film noir quality yet often contain sinister undercurrents.


Miles Aldridge rose to prominence in the mid-90s with his arresting, highly stylised photographs referencing film noir, art history and pop culture.

The exhibition Miles Aldridge: High-Gloss runs until 19 March at the Fahey Klein gallery in Los Angeles. The book, After Cattelan, documents Aldridge’s absurdist series with artist Maurizio Cattelan, shot during one night at La Monnaie de Paris.


All photographs: Miles Aldridge/Courtesy Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles.


The images are glamorous, yet probe society’s idealised notions of domestic bliss, where sinister undercurrents swirl beneath a flawless surface.


Aldridge is well known as a photographer for staging elaborate mise-en-scènes with a film noir quality, delivered in bright, acidic hues.


The brightly coloured, dream-like worlds he constructs are vibrant, fragmented narratives that defy expectations.


As Aldridge states: ‘In my work there is always a push and pull between high and low art’.


Aldridge is a contemporary artist with a unique ability to make viewers question themselves. With a keen eye for social absurdities, elevating them to thought-provoking art, Aldridge highlights a deep truth in his hyper-realities.


A recurring theme throughout Aldridge’s oeuvre is the false promise of luxury. Psychedelic interiors are furnished with the trappings of mid-century suburban comfort: gleaming kitchen appliances, candy-coloured telephones and well-groomed pets denote success.


Long interested in art history, his highly stylised work draws inspiration from representations of the female nude in art, as well as in pulp fiction and pin-ups.


Aldridge’s constructed interiors suggest intimate drama in stifling domestic settings. They are full of visual suspense carefully crafted to transform the everyday … and invert the familiar.


Aldridge believes that ‘fiction and theatricality can be more truthful than documenting reality’.


Aldridge has worked prolifically for more than 25 years and today he remains one of the few photographers still shooting predominately on film. His creative output encompasses large-scale C-type prints, Polaroids, screenprints, photogravures and drawings.

Vivid screams: Miles Aldridge’s psychedelic dreamworld – in pictures


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