Lula Hyers – Untitled (2014)
Were you to take the current bumper crop of twenty-something lifestyle/fashion image makers, write their names on slips of paper, fold up those slips and place them into a hat, shake the hat about and pull out a name at random, any name would share some obvious parallel with Hyers’ work.
I am certain that Hyers would be at least passingly familiar with the large majority of names in that hat. She probably even considers many of them influences. The thing is: her work is also frequently better than the work of at least ¾ of those names that might emerge from the hat.
A bold statement: yes; but if you stop and look at her work–I mean engage with it–you can’t dispute the assertion. Add to that, Hyer’s still being a teenager and Jesus Harold and Maude Fucking Christ on Christmas her aptitude is freaking unbelievable.
And while I am of a mind that she’s better than the majority of her peers/influences, what she does better than just about anyone is the way she presents bodies and the sometimes related sometimes unrelated sexual expression of bodies as almost an afterthought–allowing her broad latitude in presented the truth of those in her life without misrepresenting the complexity of the moments she captures or relying on knee jerk shock value.
It’s surprisingly mature work for someone so young. And although comparisons to those aforementioned twenty-something lifestyle photographers are astute (along with correlations to Goldin and McGinley), I feel there’s a closer relationship with the frenzied urge to document life exemplified by one of my favorite photographers Igor Mukhin.
What I see matters little next to than simple truth that this work is breathtaking; I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.