Exhibition Review: Chad Moore: Whatever's in me is whatever's in you at Agnes B. Galerie
By Katie Heiserman
If 1960s counterculture art was LSD-induced, then Chad Moore’s photographs of today’s youth scene (his slice of it) seem laced with druggy-euphoria. The photographs are woozy and sensual, featuring uninhibited subjects - naked, tattooed, and smiling wide. Agnes B. Galerie & Boutique, a high-end clothing line started in France with locations worldwide, is host to Moore’s Whatever’s in me is whatever’s in you, where c-prints line the exposed brick walls of a SoHo shop.
Much of Moore’s work is shot spontaneously, and he has a talent for releasing the shutter at precisely the right moment. His photographs demonstrate technical strength, though they fare better individually than as a group. One alluring photo of a stylish, thin, white twenty-something is followed by the next, and the shine dulls. Moore makes the mistake of over-contextualizing his subjects, hampering our ability to imagine and to experience the wonderful voyeuristic rush we are set up to enjoy. In its place we find a clearly defined and beautifully captured group of friends, shot much in the style of Ryan McGinley’s work.
While his works are mostly subject-centric, they seem to celebrate the idea of being young over the individual. In one photo a young woman stands on a building rooftop at night with her back to the camera. In another three people are sprawled out on a pullout bed. The theme running through the twenty-four print series could well be summed up as “young, wild, and free” or “cigarettes, beer, and make-shift sleeping spots.” Above all, Moore’s work leaves us feeling that his subjects are seductively free, maintaining a lifestyle that is worthy of envy and emulation.
So explains several clothing lines’ interest in Moore’s photo aesthetic. In 2014 Moore worked on an Urban Outfitters lookbook, applying his wonderful knack for capturing beauty and oddity to a staged fashion campaign. Similarly, Agnes B. smartly recognized that Moore’s independent projects - both candid and studio - enacted a kind of youth branding. Moore’s work has appeared in group and solo exhibitions at The Foam Museum, Amsterdam; Galerie & Co 119, Paris; Stielglitz, Antwerp; and the Fashion Space Gallery, London. He has also published four photography books.