Raised in the small town of Fortson, Georgia—what he calls the “middle of nowhere”—photographer Alex Stoddard says he always felt different. His childhood remains his strongest influence, particularly fantasy stories and movies. “But also in the way I had trouble finding myself and discovering my identity as a gay man,” he says. Stoddard found solace in whimsical worlds and solitude, and so do the subjects of his photographs. A self-taught artist starting at the age of fifteen, he took self-portraits for a sense of catharsis, hiding them from friends and family, but posting them online daily. Those images attracted clients, and after high school graduation, he moved to Los Angeles. Today, Stoddard creates album art for musicians like Katharine McPhee and Paper Route, as well as advertising work and book covers. He continues to focus on dark and fantastical scenes in nature, where there’s no judgment from onlookers. “It’s difficult to shoot my images in public places because more often than not I will have my subject doing some- thing that looks ridiculous, and it will draw observers.” Above all other projects, Stoddard takes pride in his ongoing self-portraits. He says, “I am beginning to explore ideas of sexuality and society’s perceptions of it through my images.”
This Chilean illustrator uses digital and analog techniques to play with the nature of duality.