Rizzoli Publishes a New Book of Photos by Miles Aldridge
Society’s rigid rules can often cause most of us, in the words of Norman Bates, “to go a little mad sometimes.” And in the surreally stark, hyper-glamorous world of photographer Miles Aldridge, his models seem to be on the verge of cracking under the pressure of perfection. These women are suffering from an exquisite emotional tension, whether dining at a fine restaurant, acting as the sexual object of a man, or merely performing the routine rituals of traditional housewifery.
Indeed, they often appear perfectly paralyzed in Aldridge’s baroque photographs, which have been published in such magazines as American and Italian Vogue, Numéro and The New Yorker. This month, Rizzoli releases I Only Want You to Love Me, a bountiful collection of these thrilling and frankly creepy works. As the title suggests, Aldridge’s characters seem suffused by more than a little desperation, a state illustrated by the photographer’s homages to classical Hollywood hysteria: The ghosts of Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Crawford and Sharon Tate hang heavily over his heroines, while direct takes on The Stepford Wives and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? paint insanity with an ironic brush.
Aldridge both questions and celebrates his subjects’ allure, challenging the viewer and casting a dual meaning onto his work: Is his view idolizing or mocking, or both? And before they’re all dragged off to the Snake Pit, perhaps the ultimate setting for these otherworldly creatures is in a séance series, in which, luminous and ethereal, Aldridge’s women finally seem to have transcended the burdens of their earthbound existences
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Images copyright Miles Aldridge: I Only Want You to Love Me, Rizzoli New York, 2013.