The Hilton Brothers

What’s it like photographing horses?

“I love it when you lie in the grass in a field with horses around you. They come up to you and sniff you and you pat them. I totally understand why so many people get attached to horses rather than to any other animal. With the whole green revolution it all makes sense. Nature is closing up on us. Anything natural, even if its just water, is the new gold.”
“I totally understand why so many people get attached to horses rather than to any other animal. With the whole green revolution it all makes sense.”
What is the challenge of photographing horses? And how do you go about it?
“Carefully. At first I was a little concerned, but they are just great big dogs, they love affection, they love people, and once they sense you love them, they are very cooperative. Most of the horses, either come from Spain, or out on Long Island, New York. None were done in a studio.”


Is the outcome always  what you planned?

“I usually don’t have many expectations, so I can never be disappointed, it’s part of the way I live my live, so I don’t stray too far away from that way of life. The photos are always fresh, and new, especially if you don’t plan to much.”
Do you have any favorite horses to photograph?
“Not really, I just like to photograph horses that belong to someone, usually those horses understand being handled, so they usually are more interesting to photograph, because they understand being around people.”
What is your best memory ?
“When I was invited to a town outside of Madrid to photograph the horses of the designer, Agatha Ruiz de La Prada. It was such a beautiful day in the country, and so memorable. It was the personal stables where Agatha keeps her horses in a village just outside of Madrid, it’s the most beautiful country house where there are classical dogs that are the right accessory for the horses. The right landscape, the right fence. Everything is perfect the way the Spanish keep their horses.”
“Andy Warhol taught me the business of art”
Christopher, you worked with Andy Warhol and you even met Man Ray; tell us about it.
“I was on vacation in the South of France where I met Man Ray by chance. He spent spent an afternoon with me and talked about photography.
His best advice was to trust your first impressions as they’re always the best. With your second and third you bring in your intellect and previous experiences. But your first instincts are always the most honest ones.
Andy Warhol taught me the business of art, and in return, I taught him everything he knew about photography. He was just starting out and everything was new to him. As an artist you’re always very open, trying to explore new paths. It’s our dealers who like to put us in a particular boxes. But we’re always trying to put pressure on them, to show that we are more than that.”
 “In return, I taught him everything he knew about photography.”
Why do you call yourself the Hilton Brothers?
“Our name is a reference to American pop culture. As Warhol predicted people would get famous just for being famous. Now the trashy culture has gotten worse. Now it’s global. We were also inspired by the Hilton sisters of the 1930s; siamese twins who worked in a circus. They were the biggest stars in America and they couldn’t escape one another, but we have chosen to collaborate in the truest sense.”
How do you see your work?
“We don’t like to over analyze it. But we try to to create beautiful art as a  suggestion rather than something overly blatant. When you go to different art fairs you realize that photography is taking itself too seriously. If a picture is too beautiful then it’s not considered art. We like to challenge that. We want to show that we take serious subjects and treat them in a serious way. We’re happy, beautiful people, and we like to look at the world this way. If you’re going to live with something on your walls it should uplift you.”

Purple Burst



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