Monday, 16 September 2013

Miles Aldridge: I Only Want You To Love Me

Since the start of the summer, I've been waiting and waiting to have time to pop down to Somerset House to go and see Miles Aldridge's exhibition, I Only Want You To Love Me. Finally I got a chance to go during the rainy day which was last Friday.

Miles Aldridge is a photographer popular with Italian Vogue, amongst other big publications such as the New York Times and Harper's Bazaar. His subjects tend to be blank faced beauties, which to me tend to look as if they're resentful or resigned to their lot in life (especially when, as in some portraits, they're surrounded by scenes of domestic drudgery) and scream a 'Betty Draper' style vibe. The blonde bombshell (in a 'Kill Bill' style outfit, sat on the floor amongst the remains of a smashed tea tray dinner ) in one of my favourite portraits even seems slightly murderous!

 However, according to the exhibition, the artist prefers to see his subjects as in 'a state of contemplation' which invites us to consider the subjects' 'inner lives'. And the portraits really do get you thinking whether you think they're in a 'state of contemplation' or not. The vivacity of the images, with their highly saturated colours and bold scenes gives each image an almost otherworldly feel, absorbing you closer into the disturbing world of his perfect subjects.  However you choose to interpret them, the portraits are hypnotically fascinating and leave you wondering what's going to happen next.

The exhibition also showcased the amount of work that went into creating each image which I felt was rather unusual. Normally, you're presented with an end result. A carefully crafted perfection with no idea how the piece was created. Not so much here. On display were his hand drawn illustrations which showed us where some of the images had come from as well as polaroids from the shoots. The polaroids were apparently used so that Aldridge check how each image was going to appear before they were developed. Since his medium was film, he would not normally see the end result until the film was developed after the shoot was finished. These polaroids were fascinating as you could see the different scenes portrayed before the final piece was settled on.

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition and would highly recommend it to everyone!
(Apologies for a lack of photos- cameras weren't allowed in the exhibition so the only snaps I could get were from outside).

While at Somerset House on Friday I also had a nice little surprise. I'd totally forgotten that it was Fashion Week! That meant that when I rocked up, there were plenty of crazily dressed people around and a couple of fantastic freebees to be snapped up.

 After a little bit of people watching, I opened the little cardboard box I'd been handed by the kind people at Birchbox. Inside were some lovely goodies to keep everyone going through Fashion Week, including a mini OPI nail polish and some delicious popcorn!

 For those interested, Birchbox is a company which will send high end beauty samples straight to your door which to me sounds like a great idea and worth checking out. Anyway as I'm sure you'll all agree, freebees are always a great way to end a day and I went home feeling culturally fulfilled and actually full after scoffing down all my popcorn..!

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