Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Image A Week: Bradley Peters

The work of Bradley Peters, a recent MFA graduate of the photography program at Yale, embodies two seemingly antithetical photographic styles at once. His images possess both the theatricality of staged photography, as well as the spontaneity of the snapshot. These polarities are reconciled in different ways. Often Peters' polished, perfectly lit narratives are juxtaposed with a self-consciousness that radiates from the subjects or their environments. He hasn't striven for the perfectly controlled moment, opting instead to explore the awkward, neurotic moments in between. In the writing on the homepage of his website (which seems less like a definitive assertion about the work and more like a justification to explore his past) Bradley writes:

"In an attempt to make things clearer for myself, I have been trying to figure out why exactly the work feels like it does. But my understanding is slowly evolving and shifting, which is making a clear definition difficult.

Sometimes it feels like the fragments of the distorted stories that I grew up listening to my father tell — but then again, it also feels like an investigation into how neurosis translates itself into gesture and body language; how my mother's distress influences the particular manner in which she holds her dinner fork.

Sometimes it seems like it's trying to deal with ideas of materiality — what things people love, and how they love them; how they think they need them because of what they represent."

Image © Bradley Peters