The Hilton Brothers

 

Flowers  

 

horse

 

power 

 

 

A new form of art was born when Christopher Makos and Paul Solberg one day put their pictures together and realized that they made the perfect match : Mako’s horses and Solberg’s flowers. 

 

By Camilla Alfthan, photos by The Hilton Brothers

 

 

Hippofolium is the name of the portfolio which in the past 10 years has been exhibited across Europe and the USA.

To Christopher Makos and Paul Solberg, it’s all about a dialogue and about playing with identity to show the horse in a new light.

“Horses are perceived as strong and masculine, while flowers are soft and feminine. When you put the two together you get surprising images,” tells the New York based duo who’ve joined forces under the name, The Hilton Brothers.

When Makos portrays the horses in fragmented images to bring out their almost human personalities, Solberg photographs his flowers after having meticulously arranged them so that they become contemporary pieces of art.

The two met when Makos was art directing a book about Solberg’s floral images.

Finding that they were both drawn to similar subject matter when they were out in a foreign, beautiful location, they began to shoot the same subjects, almost as a joke.

Back in the studio, looking at the printed results it was fascinating for them to see where their sensibilities merged and diverged. The idea of identity, who took which picture, and why was the difference discernable led them to begin a series of diptychs, where they would photograph separate objects and bring them together in one print: one plus one equals a third new artwork. So it seemed with their artistic identities, a blurring of individual egos to proceed to explore other collaborative projects. Makos and Solberg began calling their collective works, and themselves the Hilton Brothers.

 

“Horses are perceived as strong and masculine, while flowers are soft and feminine. When you put the two together you get surprising images.”

 

When Makos and Solberg spent time together proofing their respective works they realized that some of the flowers and horses, with their exquisite color and intriguing shapes made very strong images when combined and printed as diptychs.The Hippofolium Portfolio is the result of this collaboration. Each diptych is the outcome of a rigorous process of selection, rejection and ultimate decision by Makos and Solberg. This is followed by a strenuous proofing process that brings together their unique eyes for detail, form and color, so that each individual print stands strongly on its own as a true statement of shared vision from these two very different, very talented artists.

 

You both live in New York. How did the horses come into the picture?

“I was in Montauk Beach working on a new series, where I put my pictures on surf boards before I photographed them. Kelly Klein, who was at the time married to   Calvin Klein, asked me to do the same with her horses. I showed the photographs to my publisher, Marta Hallet at Glitteratti in New York said, lets do a Horse book, and that how it all started. We ended up making the book, Equipose with Kelly Klein’s horse, Lourve on the cover.”

 

Pedal Feel

 

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