chad moore's photos of a heady european summer
The photographer's latest exhibition "Too Late, So Soon" will have you wishing it was summer again.
Photography Chad Moore
This article was originally published by i-D UK.
Summer is over. Your favorite silk sundress hangs limp in your closet. It’s dark, all the time. You’re hungry, all the time. Your mom emailed you a comprehensive list of discount thermals on Black Friday.
Summer is over, but for an intoxicating few moments you can reignite the heady freedom it evokes through Chad Moore’s latest exhibition, Too Late, So Soon. The New York-based photographer originally hails from Florida, where he bucked a half-finished business degree to beeline up the East Coast and assist Ryan McGinley.
Since then, he’s been capturing the highlights reel of growing up and going out, getting drunk and making love. Gracing his images are an endless stream of beautiful people doing aesthetically pleasing things — Petra Collins drenched in winter sun, Lili Sumner’s gappy grin, and Ali Michael giving a vicious side-eye. The photos are freeze frames of the ephemerality of youth. It’s all the photos you dreamed your disposable camera birthed from last weekend’s house party, instead of that overexposed shot of a beer can where your finger covers half the lens.
"It’s freeze frames of the ephemeralness of youth. It’s all the photos you dreamed your disposable camera would birth from last weekend’s house party, instead of that overexposed shot of a beer can where your finger covers half the lens."
Past exhibitions of Chad’s work have shown coming of age in the big city, spooning on Parisian futons, and Larry David-inked knocked knees. He’s shot extensive editorials featuring the likes of Ibeyi for Vogue, Charli XCX for BEAT magazine and recently, Bria Vinaite for our latest issue of i-D. But Chad’s current exhibition is the product of him spending the better, warmer part of the year coasting across the European continent, immortalizing passing moments in a collection of grainy close ups and quixotic skies. “Lots of my work is made in New York, where I live. But I had the opportunity to travel to some unexpected — for me — places this summer, so the pictures represent that,” he explains. “Not just portraits, but the landscapes and skyscapes. I think the show is calmer, more quiet than others I’ve done.”
It is calm, in that brazen way you only find on lazy summer breaks when you have nothing to do and nowhere to be. Tarnished dusk rolls into midnight dips, hangovers bleed into lakeside loitering, nights culminate in a blurry embrace of hair and limbs. “I guess it’s about the feeling of possibly not being able to experience that situation or moment with someone again,” Chad says. “To me, some people possess a certain magic or sensibility that you can’t fully figure out or describe, and I think photography is a way to somehow capture that essence. I’m intrigued by the unknown.”
While captivatingly free, the photos still stir that uneasy blend of mixed emotion — happy it happened, sad it’s over. But while we’re spinning memories of long summer days on replay, Chad notes that the omnipresent darkness isn’t all bracing wind and bloodless fingertips. “I do love a good NYC nighttime snowfall during the winter,” he says. “It’s completely silent.”