The Boss, 2016
Archival inkjet print
76.2 x 101.6 cm.
Courtesy the artist and Monte Clark Gallery
Representations of motion have been explored since early in the twentieth century: Cubism abstracted forms by depicting many perspectives in a single image, while futurism sought to express the mechanistic speed of modern life. Owen Kydd’s The Boss echoes these complex aesthetics through photography, questioning our assumption that photographs remain frozen while moving images are time-based. In Kydd’s works, time is never still; it is constantly being negotiated.
Over the past ten years, Kydd’s art has occupied the interstice between still and moving images. Not content to simply depict a photographic instant, the artist has garnered widespread praise for his “durational photographs” – short video loops played on customised screens, which defy cinematic narrative by focussing on an almost static scene or subject.
With The Boss, Kydd finds captivating new ways to expand this approach. Here, two discrete video frames have been superimposed, deftly blending photorealism and abstraction. The result is not a long exposure or motion blur: Kydd’s photograph is crisp, with each distinct moment of a figure in the foreground visibly etched. Equally beautiful and confounding, The Boss signals an exciting development in the artist’s process.
Owen Kydd (b. 1975, Calgary, AB) earned his MFA at the University of California Los Angeles and holds a BFA from Simon Fraser University. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and a solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2009. Kydd’s practice has been the subject of numerous articles in publications such as Artforum (2016), Canadian Art (2014) and Aperture Magazine (2013), and his work is in major public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Kydd lives and works in Los Angeles and is represented by Monte Clark Gallery.