Set up like a formal studio portrait with a luminous painted backdrop, Fractoid reveals the extent to which Yvonne Todd is interested in staged photography. ‘I’m inspired by professional photography trade magazines from the pre-digital era. I especially like food photography, because everything’s so fake and inedible.’ She makes a considerable investment in costumes; the dresses, wigs, shoes and props she uses often have a fascinating history. The subjects of her portraits are sometimes people she knows, friends or relatives, but increasingly Todd also searches for subjects through informal casting calls. She hunts for models who seem to embody a perfect ‘type’ or exemplar.
Like many of Todd’s characters, the woman depicted in Fractoid has an impediment. She is elegant and immaculately presented, but is balanced on crutches.
Fractoid is from a series of diverse works entitled 11 Colour Plates. The woman in this portrait is anonymous, her face carefully shadowed, her identity concealed or protected. She stands poised, gripping her crutches self-consciously.