Brooke DiDonato (b. 1990) is a visual artist from Ohio now based in Austin, TX. After studying photojournalism in college, DiDonato began developing a body of personal work questioning the notion of realism induced by the photographic medium. Her images propose scenes of everyday life distorted by visual anomalies. Extreme landscapes and domestic spaces stand in for the subconscious mind. The pictures become fantastic as environments hide or subsume the human figures.
Her series of self-portraits “A House Is Not a Home” has been exhibited throughout the US (The Fence) and is included in the permanent collection at the Southeast Museum of Photography. Her work has also been exhibited internationally, most recently at the KINDL Centre for Contemporary Art in Berlin and Galerie Joseph Turenne in Paris.
In every shot, the meanings of familiar objects are twisted; the laws of physics unhinged. Cosy homes and gardens are imbued with danger, humour and intrigue, encouraging us to look again.
Through pleasing colour palettes, enticing 1950s-style décor and calming landscapes, DiDonato lulls the viewer into a false sense of security. Yet, instead of a world of trust and safety, where everything is as it should be, we are brought into an unexpected realm. It’s a place where the American Dream is questioned and deconstructed: a distinctly unstable universe.
Words: Eleanor Sutherland