Todd Diederich, who does that photo column for us called Todd’s People where he interviews people really doing their thing in the brutal “sides” of Chicago (West and South), is one of his own people. He spent his first paycheck from VICE on rollerblades, and he actually uses them with joy and abandon, even though he was falsely arrested as a teenager because of a violent incident involving rollerblades.
Todd just lives life. Here’s a real email we got from him this summer: “I spent my weekend on a jet ski in South Haven, MI. The jet ski was rad until I checked my speed, it said 45 MPH, and then my buddy took a tight turn. I went flying, more like skipping on the water. I somehow ended up passing the jet ski and realized I never want to fall going that fast again.”
When not getting falsely arrested, traipsing through the serious ghettos of Chicago, or wiping out on jet skis, he also gives inspirational talks at high schools in the hood, working out grievances in classrooms, imagining perfect worlds, talking about their first pair of tight pants and how to work the swagger.
This is all relevant to his photography, because it shows up in his pictures: He finds the pizzaz, compassion, ridiculousness, and humanity while also getting people to say some really crazy shit and look amazing while they do it. He’s got a solo show in Chicago, opening this Sunday, and it's for two days only. Go to it, will you?
New work by Todd Diederich
Oct. 30-31, 2011
Opening Reception: Sunday, October 30, 4-8
1913 W 17th Street, Chicago