US photographer Bobby Doherty has a distinctive visual language, characterised by hyper-real colours and textures, striking digital compositions and almost lurid still life arrangements. These elements combine to create a distinctive style with an eye for detail in images dealing both with the human form images and still life works. In his second book, Dream About Nothing, Doherty embarks on a more introspective articulation of his remarkably consistent visual practice.
He invites us to pull back from the visually-tumbling-image-overload language that much of contemporary still-life and observational photography relents itself to, instead placing, with utmost care and precision, a line of observed things and places before your eyes to ask us, ' What does it all mean?'
Doherty takes this question more seriously than the serotonin colours and satisfying framing of his images may suggest. Across five years of continuously photographing within and without the studio, Doherty rhymes images into a place where their categories break down, stripping away much of the warmer language of his previous book, Seabird. These pictures ask us to feel, albeit somewhat uncomfortably, the essence of a photographic voice, pulling at the seams of visual categories, asking both more and less of us from each photograph. From the big to the small, the broken to the pristine, Dream About Nothing shows Bobby Doherty making magic, as he rushes to the next photograph, waiting for you to turn the next page.
Bobby Doherty has been a long-time contributor and staff photographer at New York magazine. His work has also appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Allure and many more. His commercial clients include Balenciaga, Apple and Uber Eats.
Loose Joints, 120pp, 24cm × 30cm, 70 colour plates, section-sewn silkscreened hardcover, November 2023