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Midnight Modern brings into focus a view of Palm Springs and its internationally renowned modernist houses never before shown, shot entirely by the light of the full moon.

Created over the course of three years by Australian photographer Tom Blachford, the surreal images function as portals in time, with the homes, cars, and beautiful scenery appearing almost exactly as it all did 60 years ago. The crisp moonlight adds a new dimension to the famous mecca of desert modernism and shows a contrasting side of a town famous for its sunshine, cocktails, and hedonism.

Working closely with the Palm Springs community, Blachford gained remarkable access to some of the most coveted architectural jewels in the area, including the Kaufmann Desert House, Edris House, Frey House II, Frank Sinatra Twin Palms Estate, and dozens of restored Alexander tract homes in the valley.

Blachford's work builds on the famous documentary and lifestyle approaches of Julius Shulman and Slim Aarons, but injects a signature mystery. His cinematic aesthetic acts as a stage for an untold narrative, inviting the viewer to script their own drama going on behind the walls of these historic homes. This original, lush work is a rich contribution to the record for those midcentury architecture and design lovers fascinated by Palm Springs.

 

Details

ISBN: 9781576878347
Audience: General
Format: Hardback
Number of Pages: 136
Publication Date: 9 Mar 2017
Publisher: powerHouse Books,U.S.
Publication City, Country: New York, United States
Dimensions (cm): 25(H) x 36.2(L)

 

Reviews

"A surreal ode to the California desert oasis of Palm Springs and its cache of pristine modernist architecture." --Architectural Digest

"For many (our editorial staff included) it was love at first sight." --Cool Hunting

"Tom Blachford's noirish images highlight the mystery and beauty of desert architecture." --Curbed

"This collection of richly colored photographs, taken by moonlight, is lled with darkly glamorous, low-slung buildings; 1950s cars sit on their drives, waiting to take their residents on to the next cocktail." --Newsweek

As seen in: Escapism Magazine, The Guardian, Hemispheres Magazine, Hyperallergic, PIN-UP, Popular Photography, Vanity Fair, Vogue Living and We Heart.

 

Author Biography

Tom Blachford's photography has a way of connecting the familiar with the surreal, rendering functional, man-made structures into strange and beautiful dreams. Based in Melbourne, Australia, his fascination with texture and shape made for a natural transition into the world of architecture. Blachford's work has been featured in Domus, Wired, Curbed, Dwell, Vogue and Wallpaper*. Chris Menrad, a Southern California native, was drawn to Palm Springs in 1999 by its abundance of modernist architecture. He is a founding board member of the Palm Springs Modern Committee, an organization dedicated to the preservation of Desert Modern architecture, and a real estate agent specializing in architectural properties in the Coachella Valley. He lives in a Krisel-designed home, which was the first Palm Springs' Class One historic Krisel/Alexander-built house.

Midnight Modern: Palm Springs Under the Full Moon
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