Midnight Modern by Tom Blachford

On February 20th, the Palm Springs-based Modernism Week will present an incredible one-day only exhibition opening by photographer Tom Blachford, at the iconic Menrad Residence, which forms the latest installment series by the photographer’s ‘Midnight Modern’ images. The new works are an extension of Blachford’s previous collection, capturing tremendous classic Palm Springs mid-century architecture in the surreal light of a full moon. Fittingly, the exhibition will take place inside one of Palm Spring’s most beautiful mid-century homes, the Alexander built Menrad Residence – the foremost mid-century construction company known for their homes built in the 1950’s and 60’s – which will be open for tours during the day, finishing with a cocktail party in the evening. The amazing images truly reveal the sharp lines of the beautiful mid-century buildings in a perfect color palette, showing the tremendous talent of Blachford. 

While the first collection was captured covertly, Blachford was now granted full access to the properties this time around. With access came the freedom to play with interior lighting, angles and accompanying mid-century vehicles, yielding multilayered results that draw the viewer into a world suspended between fiction and reality. Among the architectural masterworks featured in the series is the recently restored Kaufmann house, designed by Richard Neutra in 1946. Blachford was given a rare opportunity to photograph the pool from the rear of the spectacular property. Under a night sky the result draws an intriguing parallel with the iconic photographs taken by Julius Shulman and Slim Aarons in 1947 and 1970 respectively.

What drew me to Tom’s work was seeing Palm Springs and our signature midcentury modern architecture shown in a totally new way. I’ve always loved the fact that we have very few street lights here, and during periods of full moon the illumination is so magical. His photographs seem to capture that mystery, and offer an entirely unique perspective on the area.

Tom Blachford’s photography has a way of connecting the familiar with the surreal, rendering functional, man-made structures into a strange and beautiful dream. Based in Melbourne, his fascination with texture and shape, both contributing factors to the graphic style and considered composition of his work, made for a natural transition into the world of architecture. At 27 years old Blachford’s work has been featured in Domus, Wired, Curbed, Dwell and Australian Vogue.

The most joy I get from photography is when I discover the hidden gem, like panning for gold in a stream of water. Finding patterns, shapes and vistas in man- made and natural environments and collecting them like prizes is what keeps me shooting and exploring.

The ‘Midnight Modern’ works will be displayed in large scale Size 50” (130cm) wide and will be for sale during the event, as well as on Blachford’s own website.

For more information see here.