Miles Aldridge: SHORT BREATHS at Brancolini Grimaldi, London

SHORT BREATHS is Brancolini Grimaldi’s first exhibition of work by Miles Aldridge to coincide with his major retrospective at Somerset House, I Only Want You to Love Me, (10 July until 29 September). Presented as large scale prints, SHORT BREATHS brings together a body of work which explores sensuality and malaise in modern life through a language of vivid colour and unexplained narratives. Aldridge’s images of beautiful women placed in a hermetically sealed parallel universe of luxury are both thrilling and unsettling. Executed with the precision of a Hollywood movie, their power derives from the tension created between exterior perfection and internal turmoil.

“Beauty is always bizarre. I don’t mean to say that it is deliberately, coldly bizarre, for in that case it would be a monster that has gone off the rails of life. I say that it always contains a hint of the bizarre, which makes it Beauty in particular” – Charles Baudelaire

Aldridge has said about his work, “A slightly uncomfortable quality is what I’m after. I don’t feel like making happy pictures about beautiful models being content… these pictures… they’re pictures of humans not mannequins. They’re troubled, wounded and confused, questioning who they are now that they have everything they want.”

Born in London in 1964, Aldridge studied illustration at Central St Martins and briefly directed music videos before becoming a photographer in the mid-90s. He has published his work in many influential magazines including Vogue Italia, Numéro, The New York Times and The New Yorker. His work was showcased in Weird Beauty at the InternationalCenter for Photography in New York in 2009 and he has works in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London and the Victoria & AlbertMuseum, London.

As part of the exhibition, the complete set of 32 plates from Miles Aldridge’s Carousel, a new limited edition portfolio, will be presented. In this project, Aldridge has contrasted blocks of pure colour applied using silkscreen printing against his iconic images creating a whirling, colour-filled journey through Aldridge’s strange and cinematic world. Carousel, limited to 180 signed and numbered copies, is presented in a specially designed clamshell box.

A special edition of Aldridge’s new 288 page book, I Only Want You to Love Me, published by Rizzoli and presented in a specially designed plexi-glass box with a unique signed Polaroid will also be available at the gallery. This special edition is limited to 200 signed and numbered copies.

Miles Aldridge, SHORT BREATHS , 12 July until 28 September, Brancolini Grimaldi, 43-44 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4JJ.

Image: Semi-Detaches 02, 2012, Lambda print, Edition of 6. Courtesy Brancolini Grimaldi