2011 Road Trip
2004 MXF & Bing
2003 Trade Cities
2003 One Hundred Photographs
2003 One Hundred Photographs
2002 Old Frame Prints
2002 Ambervisions Sneak Preview
2000 Trade Cities
1998 Blue Children: Photo-Paintings
1996 Various Works: Photo-Paintings
1994 Tree: A Permanent Installation
1993 Seed Tree Fruit: Sculptures and Photography
Haus Gallery, Portland, Oregon
Limited Edition Prints are available.
1966 born in Barstow, California, a few blocks from Route 66.
I remember driving with my family all over the American Southwest as a child - riding in the backseat of our station wagon – my father playing Johnny Cash on his 8-track player in the car – setting the mood for the country western landscapes and the long lonely highways linking them together.
As a child I was fascinated by the cartoon of The Roadrunner and The Coyote – the highways, the desert backdrop, the colors. I can see some of that in my work today
In my twenties I used to throw darts at a map to randomly pick places to drive to by myself.
Long days of driving open up the possibilities of stumbling upon that perfect haphazard assemblage, that special ray of sun, the fluffiest cloud, the saddest tree. I never stop, I shoot while driving. Roadsigns become paintings, police cars become toys – everything becomes simple, cleansed of over-detail and shaped softly with buttery-like watercolor.
Ambervision is what I call the perfect road photograph. It has sentiment in its story, delicate curved lines - evenly soft and plump, with the quintessential painterly complexion. It will startle when first glanced upon and colors will possess an uncommon arrangement or an absolute match.
– Paul Hadley, June 2011
Review of the Show Drive-By at the ArtSpace Forum Gallery in Salt Lake City, 2005
By Jenny Thomas,
A perfect day is spent driving and shooting," claims photographer Paul Hadley, his voice crackling over a cell phone connection. "I drive and shoot. There's always a picture within 10 feet of me if I just look for it."
As he speaks, he is returning from a day at the beach with his girlfriend, but Hadley generally travels and shoots alone. "I'm not really social when I'm shooting," admits the soft-spoken photographer.
This is apparent in his choice of subjects. Long stretches of highways, desolate desert bungalows, taillights disappearing down the road, and flickering neon signs convey a sense of solitude and of the ephemeral. The only human figures in his photographs are distant, faceless, shot from behind and often walking away.
"Dropping all the details," explains Hadley, "makes for an interesting story." It also means that, as with Impressionist paintings, the closer you get to his photographs, the less you understand them—the central paradox of Hadley's images.
Intrinsic to Hadley's Drive By shooting is motion. That his photographs are shot sometimes at 50 mph makes them feel even more elusive and fleeting. Images are only partially captured, like a dream vaguely remembered but deeply felt. Add to that an eye for catching super-saturated colors and high-contrast moments in time, and a surreal, otherworldly quality results.
For all the beauty in his work, Hadley doesn't use a drop of digital manipulation, a popular tool among today's art photographers. In fact, not one shot of Hadley's work is set up, enhanced, retouched or even cropped. The finished piece uses the very image he saw through the viewfinder. "It gives a much greater feel of what the moment was like," notes Hadley.
The immediacy is palpable. Hadley's photographic world is so real that its blurry elusiveness tugs at your soul.