Los Angeles-based artist Hugh Kretschmer is known for his surreal, literal photographic interpretations of metaphorical expressions that are common in American culture. With his background in fine art and editorial photography, Kretschmer expertly stages and visually manipulates scenarios that aim to reflect the emotional and interpretive essence of idioms that we normally don’t take literally. By visually portraying these expressions in such a crisp, hyperrealistic light, Kretschmer challenges the way we thoughtlessly use these colloquialisms without considering what we’re really saying.
Beyond the idiomatic insight Kretschmer’s photography offers, he also does commissions for companies and journalists who are trying to convey abstract ideas. Of course, Kretschmer interprets these ideas literally as well: in an article for Fast Company Magazine about the rarity of female CEOs, he created an image in which a fierce looking woman in a business suit is encased in a glass museum display, featuring a little girl looking up at the female CEO in consternation.
See if you can guess the idioms and ideas that Kretschmer is portraying in the following images: