Roe Ethridge, Self Portrait (Polaroid), 2008, chromogenic print, 31 1/2 × 25 1/2 inches (80 × 64.8 cm), ed. of 5
Roe Ethridge’s photography emanates from his direct experience of the world. His oeuvre melds conceptual photography with commercial work, including out-takes from his own shoots and borrowed images already in circulation in other contexts. With this democratic attitude, Ethridge works to capture the vivid and intimate details of his shifting locales within photography’s classic genres of portrait, landscape, and still life. The diverse and sometimes abstruse nature of Ethridge’s imagery—vintage movie posters, fashion models, a pink rose, a mop bucket, a concrete mixer—oscillates between the spontaneous and the staged with such subtlety that it is often difficult to ascertain his elected approach with regard to individual images. Drawing upon photography’s descriptive power and its accessibility, he copies and re-combines images, subverting their original status in order to regenerate their signifying possibilities, and in so doing, infuse them with a new sense of mysterious contingency.
Roe Ethridge was born in 1969 in Miami, Florida. He received his B.F.A. in Photography in 1995 from the Atlanta College of Art, Georgia. Ethridge’s work has been shown extensively at institutions around the world, including “Greater New York,” MoMA PS1, New York (2000); “The Americans,” Barbican Center, London (2001); “Hello My Name Is…,” Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2002); Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, Florida (2004); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2009); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2009); “New Photography 2010: Roe Ethridge,” Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010); Les Recontres D’Arles, France (2011); and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015). Recent solo museum exhibitions include “Momentum 4: Roe Ethridge,” Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2005); “Roe Ethridge—Selected Works,” Charles Riva Collection, Brussels (2012); “Roe Ethridge (curated by Anne Pontégnie),” Le Consortium, France (2012, traveled to Museum Leuven, Belgium); and “Roe Ethridge: Nearest Neighbor,” FotoFocus Biennial, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2016). Ethridge’s work was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. In 2011, he was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.
Ethridge currently lives and works in New York.