© Taro Hirano, Foreclosure, front/back cover


Foreclosure by Taro Hirano.
Backcover words by Toby Burger.
Published by Nieves.

At first glance this unassuming, slightly floppy book (almost booklet), it's cover starkly white with a black title in the upper right is the kind of thing I naturally gravitate towards. A slim 16 pager, the smell is warming but clean, like ozone and cotton. The paper feels uncoated but with a slight tooth.

On the back cover is a list. Words, terms, and phrases all of which act as a reflection on the scene in general. Some of these things are objects, some are observations. My favorites are; Shallow, Green water, Lurkers, Drop in.

I especially enjoy small books like this. Not small in terms of dimensions, but page count mostly. I find that a reduced page count better serves as a framework for the artist to create a strong, concise edit. This book is a perfect example of that. It is straight to the point; clear, direct and forward, without being in your face.


© Taro Hirano, Foreclosure


Foreclosure documents places, landscapes, scenes. They are spacious. The airy quality places an emphasis on light. The colors are what you would expect of southern California - faded with the occasional punch of a bright flower, brick or new piece of plastic.


© Taro Hirano, Foreclosure


The layout mirrors the quiet yet direct quality of the images completely. There is some variation of image size within the boundaries of the page while retaining the original format. The pure white of the page, the area outside the images acts as a reference, a void and a ground. The two full bleeds put you squarely in the center of the scene, looking on. The scale of these images almost fool you into being there.


© Taro Hirano, Foreclosure


The passage of time is evident. Burnt grass and weedy margins meet with blue plastic tarp and blooming shrubs. The only signs of people are the leftovers...the scrapes and wheel marks from skating the pools, the skimmers, brushes, junk and graffiti.

Only when you get to the end of the book do you see someone....a boy hopping a white fence. The lawn looks well kept. It's unclear if he's sneaking out or back in.



Nicholas Gottlund