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As though forgotten, pastel-coloured, classic cars sit peacefully before freshly cut lawns and low-rise bungalows; it’s a perfect summer day in suburban utopia.
These scenes, which almost look like film sets, were discovered by photographer Tim Bradley in California in the 1980s. With a profound appreciation for the transience of time, the American artist dedicated himself to capturing the suburbs in a series of images with extraordinary aesthetics. The compositions are delicate yet forceful and are charged with an almost theatrical aura. “The view from the sidewalk could be disarming. It seemed as though time was holding its breath to accommodate the incidental arrangements of a suburban tableau.”
Bradley’s artistic devotion to these idyllic scenes lasted more than four years. At an early stage, he understood that the familiar, fairy-tale atmosphere of suburbia would soon be a thing of the past. The Los Angeles-based photographer concentrated on street settings, using colour as a key element of the images. The timeless subjects are shot in gentle tones to produce a compelling narrative; even though there are no people in the works, they reveal a great deal about the lifestyles of the dwellings’ inhabitants. Bradley’s perspective is not that of an outsider, but of someone on the inside, closely connected to this world. “California Dwelling” is an engrossing combination of deliberate composition and clear, cool elegance.
After studying photography at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Bradley established himself as a freelance photographer. A number of teaching positions followed, including at California State University and the Brooks Institute of Photography.
1976 - 1981 Studied photography at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, USA 1987 - 1990 Associate Professor of Art, 2D Media at California State University Northridge, USA 1990 - 2000 Chair of Photography at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, USA 2007 - Present Adjunct Faculty, Brooks Institute of Photography, Ventura, USA Lives and works in Los Angeles, USAExhibitions
2012 Tim Bradley – California Dwelling, Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica, USA