He's shot A-listers such as Karl Lagerfeld to Helena Christensen, but Todd Selby is happy to shoot anyone - as long as they and their homes catch his eye
Back in 2008, Todd Selby shot Tom Wolfe at home in Prague for a magazine. The journal published a couple of the photographs but Selby, disappointed he couldn’t show more of the “amazing photos” he’d been able to take, decided to set up a website and post them online. Calling it theselby.com, he mailed some of his contacts to tell them what he was up to, and attracted about ten people per day. The number went up to 40 per day, then a thousand, then suddenly it snowballed, and he found he’d attracted 10,000 people in one day and an article in The New York Times.
Less than ten years later the self-taught Selby attracts up to 100,000 people in a day to his site, has worked with brands such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Nike, and has published three books The Selby is In Your Place (2010), Edible Selby (2012) and Fashionable Selby (2014). He’s also shown his work at Colette in Paris, and now has his first solo museum show – The Selby’s House at Daelim Museum, Seoul. He’s been given free reign over the entire four-floor building, and is covering its exterior with illustrated vinyls and sculptures, plus a ‘head in hold wall’ primed for visitors’ selfies.
Selby’s practice has expanded to include illustrations, sculptures and installations, but at heart his photographs have remained the same – shots of interesting, creative people in their wonky, maximalist homes. His subjects have included Karl Lagerfeld, Helena Christensen and Christian Louboutin, but he’s just as happy to shoot obscure bakers and knitwear designers – as long as they and their homes are eye-catching. “Minimalism to me is quite boring,” he says in an interview published in the exhibition catalogue.
“When I started shooting people and their spaces in the early 2000s that super clean look was the dominant aesthetic. What I did was so embracing of maximalism and real-life and messiness, it was a slap in the face to that whole thing.”
“Being a photographer is an instant excuse to jump into some really interesting situations,” he adds. “It offers opportunities to satisfy my curiosity, travel the world, and meet countless interesting people.”
The Selby’s House is on show at Daelim Museum, Seoul from 27 April-29 October. www.daelimmuseum.org http://theselby.com
Yoshikazu Yamagata, writtenafterwards. “Yoshikazu’s designs show how we accept and gather everything together and combine them in a chaotic way. What I find truly special in all of Yoshikazu’s works at writtenafterwards, from his runway shows to his illustrations, is the beautiful, childlike innocence that shines through. Perhaps he stays youthful by working with fledgling designers at the private fashion school he runs, Coconogacco, which focuses on ‘free fashion expression’.” Image © Todd Selby
Lindsay Degen. “Lindsay’s passion for knitting was born when she was three years old when her grandmother taught her how to knit. After many years of needling scarves, sweaters and hats, she has always been looking for new ways to push knitting’s boundaries. Knowing its constraints – knitting
is just purling, tucking, and skipping – helps
her bend the rules, creating nipple shapes and embellishments inspired by microscopic leeches.” © Todd Selby
Audrey Louise Reynolds. “I work with colour.” Audrey says. “I work with it in every possible form and I’m always searching for new experiments and tones.” Using a cauldron in her backyard in Red Hook, Brooklyn, she’s constantly cooking up new colours, using a creative mélange of natural ingredients: vegetable, fruit juices, squid ink, powdered crystals and even rust. “It’s a mineral explosion that’s like chemistry, cooking, and painting in one,” she speaks. “And it’s also about helping people wear healthy things on their skin, which happens to be our largest organ.” © Todd Selby
Retts Wood. “Retts lives on a funky canal boat moored at a private marina in central London. She bought it and, never having navigated a boat before, piloted it for five days by herself through the canals to London. I often daydream about living on her boat, reading Towpath magazine, hanging
out with the local house-boaters at their private tavern, and feeding coal into the mini-stove.” © Todd Selby
Ambika Conroy. “Ambika’s 16 Angora bunnies are like giant pouncing marshmallows. Sylvester is my favourite, a charming ruffian who humps everything and always shows off. What’s even more impressive than the hats, vests, and stoles that Ambika makes from the rabbits’ super soft, fluffy wool – which is hand-shorn without cruelty, blended with fibre from her sheep and goats, and woven using wind-powered spinning wheels – is how Ambika’s love and respect for the animals inspire her in creations.” © Todd Selby
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