Brandon Herman: My Vacation with a Kidnapper


Brandon told me, “I am interested in darker fantasies — fantasies that could simultaneously be fears. When I was younger the thing I was afraid of more than anything, more than being eaten by a shark or falling off a cliff, was being kidnapped. I remember being so super frightened when Polly Klaas was abducted in Petaluma and being totally horrified by the picture of her abductor in the paper. But then I came up with the idea of the possibility of a cool kidnapper. Like, what if your parents totally sucked (a lot of people have sucky parents) and were really strict and mean and then along came this kidnapper and he took you to his house and let you eat candy for dinner and bought you a Playstation and gave you your own room when you had had to share with your brother at your parents’ house? Every time you got pissed at your parents you might wish for such a kidnapper. That dichotomy to me is fascinating and is the root of what this new work is about, [imagery that is] beautiful, sexy, and enticing, yet simultaneously scary, uncomfortable, and dark.”

Bh5 Bh6

If you’re interested, the opening reception for the show is from 6-8 this Friday, March 7th at envoy, 131 Chrystie Street, New York.


Brandon Herman in Los Angeles [tr]
Brandon Herman in Brooklyn [tr]


  1. Robert says

    dark & edgy yes…..especially when you recall the story last year where a 28 year old man was masquerading as a 14 year old who had all these cool toys, that was living with a couple of 60 year old pedophiles

  2. Denis says

    I saw his show in LA and liked it; didn’t love it. Although plainly talented, the work is still covering territory better (and already) explored by Ryan McGinley, Ari Marcopoulus, Luke Smalley, and Anthony Goicolea, to name a few.

  3. says

    The whole “snapshot” as art thing is really some gallery owner’s invention. That’s what these are, casual and casually provocative snapshots that could have been taken by anyone but given a context, presumably they become important, or so we should think. If you saw these on Ringo, or Flickr, you’d pass them by and say, gee, they must have had a fun weekend in PS. And how these have any relation to Dennis Cooper is really a stretch. These are not dangerous images. These are not about kidnapping. While as a culture we are desperate for new art, new images, these images, which are really like the work of a student of Ryan McGinley, are minor scratches on the walls of photography.

  4. Matt says

    Looks like softcore twink porn. I bet Gus Van Sant has a bunch of these framed in his rec room. The male nude in true art photography shouldn’t look like a pinup, he should be an average Joe. Some of the snaps in Am I Bear are more aesthetic than this pederastic swill.

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