Hot Talks: Tod Seelie
July 22, 2014
Tod Seelie loves New York, but not the version depicted in postcards. His city is an underground haven for people at society’s edges, people who come alive at night, who make music and art and noise and mess; punk bands and bike parades, abandoned spaces and skeezy clubs, junk-filled lots and sketchy streets, his book Bright Nights is a startlingly beautiful collection of images capturing a gritty culture that belies the city’s glamorous persona. Interspersed throughout the book are texts from Seelie’s friends and fellow artists, along with an introduction by Jeff Stark, editor of the iconic alternative events e-mail list Nonsense NYC. At this Hot Talk, you’ll see photos from his book, hear the stories that went in to the creation and what was going on behind the scenes, and a bit about Tod’s process.
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Tod Seelie has photographed in over 25 countries on five different continents. Originally from Cleveland, he relocated to Brooklyn in 1997. Tod was a founding member of The Miss Rockaway Armada, and continued on to travel by raft with both manifestations of the Swimming Cities. His work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Stern Magazine, TIME Magazine, New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, Spin, Juxtapoz, Thrasher, Vice, Der Speigel and ARTnews among others. His images also appear in the feature films Perfect Sense (2011) and Empire Me (2011). Tod has exhibited work in solo and group shows around the world and at Mass MoCA and the Philadelphia Art Alliance. His work has also appeared in photography and art books, such as The Vice Photo Book, Hijacked, Swoon, Street World and Backyard Shakedown. In 2013 Tod published his first book of photography, BRIGHT NIGHTS: Photographs of Another New York, with Prestel Publishing. The book chronicles 15 years of living and shooting in NYC, with 10 essays by fellow collaborators and cultural observers.