When I have a model shoot I typically have a bunch of reference images so everyone is on the same page as to what the final product may look like. And typically these reference images contain a bunch by David Hochbaum. It’s a shorthand to tell the models, “there’s nothing around you right now but there will be and it will look like amazing art and be cool so don’t fret.”
What attracts me to Hochbaum’s work is the approach to the images as visual artworks that aren’t limited to photographic processes. He constructs an elegant world around his models who are likely shot in the sparest of surroundings. And when he does work that have no photographic elements to them- sculptures, collage, paintings- they all look like they belong in the same piece. The other factor I love is the elegant Asian influence. It’s a long stretch from sumi-e scroll painting to mixed media photoworks, but Hochbaum does it with ease by having characters float, limiting the color palette, and including graphic elements like bamboo trees. David Hochbaum is an artists’ artist who happens to use photography as a medium, and that’s something I strive for as well.