Stories From a Short Street - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Stories From a Short Street

By Holly Andres


Because many of us think childhoods like this are a thing of the way, way past.

Photographer Holly Andres grew up in rural Montana, the youngest of 10 children. In this series of eight images, she creates a fictitious group of siblings loosely based on her own family (who lived on a street named Short). To start, she put an ad on Craigslist asking for children to participate in a fine-art photo series. Their parents, usually mothers, she says, sent their headshots. Andres then lined them up on her computer monitor to select “the most believable, cohesive family.”

Andres was actually trained as a painter. Citing influences such as Gregory Crewdson, Cindy Sherman and Alfred Hitchcock, she says that in order to make it work, she reaches for a life experience, memory or conversation that elicits a powerful image (or “filmstrip”) in her mind. Instead of finding houses to shoot in for this series, she says, “I completely transform an existing space — usually my own home — to look like the one in my mind.”

Each photograph is meant to act out a specific moment, and communicate identity — to ultimately offer a portrait as psychological as it is visual.


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