LAST BEST HIDING PLACE by TIM RICHMOND
Deserted streets with beer cans blowing down the road…a cowboy washing his shirts…a train on its way into a million acres of emptiness…a Vietnam vet. who lost twenty years of recent memory…a whole town for sale…meth warnings…a tattooed waitress in neon light. All of these inhabit the Last Best Hiding Place.
“Tim Richmond’s American West – depicted in Last Best Hiding Place – can be placed anywhere onto the continuum that has the myth at one end and the artist’s unique vision at the other end. It’s a place filled with characters and locations that manage to be specific and completely generic at the same time, with a rough, somewhat hurt, tenderness underneath. I can’t help but think that the photographer is very much aware of what he is taking pictures of, given there appears to be a balancing act at play: Every stereotype is depicted, to be subverted right away or elsewhere”. - Jörg Colberg
In 2008, internationally acclaimed photographer Tim Richmond turned his attention to exploring long-term projects, having worked for over 20 years for major publications that include L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue, Vanity Fair, The Telegraph Magazine, Port, World of Interiors, and Nowness.
Last Best Hiding Place (2007-2014) is Richmond’s personal and contemporary odyssey through a landscape of filmic references in the American West, revealing stories true or imagined.
"In many of the photographs Richmond appears to engage in a type of visual game: not just by deconstructing visual stereotypes such as the cowboy, but also by referencing iconic photographs taken in this photogenic part of America. This visual referencing is most apparent in the final image of the book which bears a striking similarity to Garry Winogrand’s infamous 1957 black and white photograph of a toddler standing in the driveway of a suburban house in New Mexico. In Richmond’s version of this dystopian scene taken in Utah, the toddler is replaced by builders’ tools and a bush in the foreground of Winogrand’s famous image is now a stack of pre-grown lawn yet to be planted on the front yard of the house. To the back of the house there is the desert. The symbolism of this image is clear: the post-war dream of suburban living, perhaps still alive when Winogrand took his photograph, can now be revealed as an artificial construct that has more in common with a show home. Since it is the final image of the book, the symbolism it conveys is all the more powerful.”
"He has found those lonely in-between places where the American West dream has seemed to fizzle and become something much less. I am left wondering about his subjects; the faceless cowboys, the old biker, the young boy and others captured in a pensive moment".
“Richmond exerts a tight control on narrative, hinting at several, often conflicting stories beneath the surface. The further we delve into the pioneer/cowboy myth, the more its threads unravel....".
Lucy Davies, Telegraph art and photography critic
"Richmond's washed-out colour palette,– as well as the cast of intriguing characters that pepper his photographs – are extremely cinematic in feel, so it is unsurprising to discover that film was a key starting point for the photographer …culminating in a dreamy new publication, Last Best Hiding Place, resonating with a stirring sense of remoteness."
“in an exploration of place, but also the people who belong there, Richmond captures an enigmatic vision of the American West”.
Independent on Sunday
“I feel profoundly touched by these images that radiate a certain futility and hopelessness that I sometimes feel liberating. There’s nothing pretentious, no showing off – the people portrayed do not pose for the photographer. And the few who do, like the woman in a bar in Deadwood, South Dakota, do not make an effort in order to make a favourable impression. That’s the way I am, the woman seems to say. It’s this unpretentiousness that attracts me, and that I warm to”.
F Stop Magazine
"Richmond’s book show Western towns that are slowly deflating; the storefronts are permanently for rent and the local bar invites dust as it if were a paying customer. With Last Best Hiding Place, the photographer captures the underlying beauty of the mythical West".
“No picturesque buffalo roam in Richmond’s landscapes. Here, we see the ghost of rugged cowboys’ past, now a weathered old man still standing tall; there, the modern analogue of Gunsmoke’s pretty Miss Kitty, updated with a tattoo sleeve and a Budweiser sign.
The un-peopled landscapes of this book, no less than its human subjects, are bound to take root in your memory long after you’re done leafing its pages and closing the cover”.
Un-Titled Project Magazine
30 x 24cm
65 colour plates
Printed and bound in Germany
Essay by Jörg Colberg
Design: Mark Tappin
Publisher: Kehrer Heidelberg Berlin
Publishing dates 2015:
ca. 35.00 GBP
100 Special Editions, 100 GBP
10 Collector's Editions, 850 GBP
SPECIAL EDITION OF 100
Copies 1-100 come with a signed and numbered certificate, with a signed analogue 10x8 inch print (one of three).
SPECIAL COLLECTORS EDITION OF 10
Signed and numbered certificate, with a signed analogue 16x12 inch print (from a choice of three), in an embossed clamshell box.