Yancey Richardson is proud to present Just So, David Hilliard’s sixth exhibition with the gallery since 2003. Spanning two decades, the works in the exhibition present Hilliard’s career-long interest in exploring complex, universal narratives through the examination of his own relationships with family, friends, muses, lovers and strangers alike. Presented as large-scale, multi-paneled photographs, each portrait comprises a number of images employing different focal points, converging multiple perspectives into a single scene, and in turn, multiple variations of reality. Hilliard takes the personal and familiar and manipulates them to provide a commentary on larger issues such as masculinity, aging, sexuality, and spirituality, striking a balance between autobiography and fiction.
Hilliard’s work is rooted in the deeply personal, elevating the everyday to the sublime through formal and conceptual techniques borrowed from theater, film and other modes of storytelling. The photographs themselves portray the people in Hilliard's life in private moments of contemplation, vulnerability, or seduction, captured with an intimacy that calls into question the relationship between photographer and subject. The exhibition’s title, Just So, refers to a state of being where everything is arranged neatly and in its proper place. Alternatively, a “just-so story” is a tale that is speculative and unverifiable. For Hilliard, the ability to see something, as if for the first time, imbues his imagery with a sense of both idealism and illusion. Ultimately, his camera serves as an intermediary, creating a space between himself and a world he longs to understand.