The arresting centerfold from Todd Hido’s new book of photographs, ‘Bright Black World.’

Todd Hido became famous for his emotional, night-time photographs of suburban homes and empty neon-lit small towns. His images are banal and treacherous, mysterious and compelling and strangely intimate in a way that you can see the condensation of his breath on the lens and almost hear him breathing as he takes his shot.

For this recent work, Hido left the United States. Traveling through Northern Europe, Iceland and Latvia, he expanded his horizons and embraced the vast and mythical and noir. He moves away from artificial lighting to mostly natural and available light. The images are operatic in scale and eerily elude to an Armageddon to come. Admitting to having been influenced early on by Hitchcock, the master of suspense, here Hido shows his master strokes at the sublime.

WHO: Todd Hido
WHAT: Bright Black World
WHERE: Bruce Silverstein Gallery
WHEN: October 18 (Open until November 7, 2018)

The book signing began at 5:00 on October 18. By 5:20, there was a line forming out the door and down the hall from the Bruce Silverstein Gallery. Within an hour and a half, the books were sold out.

The large format (11.75 x 17.25 inches), hardcover books were impeccably printed by Nazraeli Press and included several surprise vertical gatefolds and one gobsmacking foldout poster of an endlessly melancholy sky taken in Iceland. It was clear as he took people through the book that he was very much involved with the editing and pacing of the work. The book was as much his work of art as were the photos on the walls of the gallery.

In person, Hido was curious, affable and generous with fans and collectors alike. He shared anecdotes about his experiences on the road: when he arrived in Iceland the weather was sunny and beautiful and it made him feel panicked that he would not find the type of inspiration he needed for his vision. After a few frustratingly beautiful days, the skies suddenly became cloudy and he pulled off the road to capture one of the  most powerful images in the show: an endless brown/grey sky that he swore was not enhanced in Photoshop but simply captured as it was in nature. He also spoke about how he was seeking inspiration for his next body of work and found it sitting on his wife’s nightstand: a book on Nordic mythology and “the great winter.”

The show and book are a powerful new subject for the artist and lead one to wonder what will come next.