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Phillip Toledano November 25, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in England.

From the series “Days with my Father”

Phillip Toledano (1977, England) was born to a French Moroccan mother, and an American father. He believes that photographs should be like unfinished sentences. There should always be space for questions. Phillip’s work is primarily socio-political, and varies in medium, from photography, to installation. His first book, entitled “Bankrupt” (Photographs of recently vacated offices) was published by Twin Palms in 2005. His new book, ‘Phone Sex’ was published in 2008. ‘Days with my Father’, will be published in the spring of 2010. Phillip’s most recent project was installation art, not photography. Entitled ‘America, the gift shop”, the premise was: If George Bush’s foreign policy had a souvenir shop, what would it sell? This work was shown at the Center for photography at Woodstock. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, Wallpaper, The London Times amongst others. He has exhibited worldwide.

About the Photograph:

“When I was taking pictures of my father, I felt like someone drinking deeply from the well for a last time, before setting out on a long journey alone.  I wanted to remember as much as possible.  To see as much as I could, to remember smells, conversations, the light on my father’s face when he smiled, when he was angry. It was very strange, spending time with someone I knew would die soon (we both knew, and where both waiting for it). I did the project never thinking it would speak to other people. It’s funny, now, in retrospect, that something I thought was so personal is so universal. A big part of the project now has been the reaction from others. It’s incredible getting emails from people who want to reconnect with their estranged fathers, after looking at the work. Or from families, who’ve looked at the photos together. I have to say, it’s been an honor to help people.”

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