Midnight Modern – Palm Springs by Tom Blackford

Modernism Week presents a one-day only exhibition opening by Photographer Tom Blachford, at the iconic Menrad Residence in Palm Springs California.


On Friday, February 20th the latest installment series by photographer Tom Blachford “Midnight Modern” will be unveiled in Palm Springs for a one-day only exhibition opening. The new works are an extension of Blachford’s previous collection, capturing classic Palm Springs mid-century architecture bathed in the surreal light of a full moon.


The new works are an extension of Blachford’s previous collection, capturing classic Palm Springs mid-century architecture bathed in the surreal light of a full moon. Fit- tingly, the exhibition will take place inside one of Palm Spring’s most iconic homes, the Alexander built Menrad Residence (the foremost mid-century construction com- pany 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. This special event is part of Modernism Week, an annual celebration of mid-century modern design, architec- ture, art, fashion and culture.

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While the first collection was captured covertly, Blachford was granted full access to the properties this time around, thanks to a serendipitous meeting with President of the Palm Springs Modern Committee (PS ModCom) and owner of the Menrad Resi- dence, Chris Menrad. With access came the freedom to play with interior lighting, an- gles 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.

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“What drew me to Tom’s work was seeing Palm Springs and our signature midcentury modern architecture shown in a totally new way,” says Menrad. “I’ve always loved the fact that we have very few street lights here, and during periods of full moon the illu- mination 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.

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, www.tomblachford.com.

Friday, February 20th 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Palm Springs, CA

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About The Author

Stephane Marquet
Creative Director

First of all, excuse my French! … I was born in the South of France. Lived in Paris for 10 years and travelled the world until I moved to Los Angeles in 2008, because obviously recession was a great time to move to a new country! I also arrived around Halloween and was greeted at the Social Security offices by a nurse who directed to the window Number 6 so a witch could hand me my social security number. Welcome to America. I am a painter, a photographer and the creative director of BELLO mag.

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