Where: Galerie des Galleries; Paris
When: Until Jan. 23, 2016
At first sight, her images seem all too real. Yet in fact they have all been carefully crafted and staged. One could argue that Alex Prager uses fiction only to become more real. Inspired by the golden days of Hollywood cinema, the 36-year-old American photographer often shows crowds of people cramped together in a cinema, on a beach or in front of a bus to display elements of our daily lives today. Loneliness and alienation seem all important themes.
Like Hitchcock and Buñuel, two filmmakers she greatly admires, Prager uses elaborate and dramatic lighting techniques to make sure the viewer’s gaze is directed to the one person in the crowd that forms the heart of the image. All people in the photo are carefully positioned and dressed, whereby she has a clear liking for 40's and 50's outfits, accessories and hairdos.
Some of her latest work shows people from an extreme bird’s eye perspective. Prager got inspired to become a photographer in her early twenties after seeing a color photo exhibition by William Eggleston at the Getty Museum in her hometown Los Angeles. She went on to buy her first camera and darkroom equipment and six months later had her first show in a local hair salon.
In 2010, only three years after her first solo exhibit, Prager was selected for MoMA’s prestigious New Photography exhibition, while in 2012 she was awarded the Paul Huf Award, as well as an Emmy Award for her film series Touch of Evil. The exhibition at the Galerie des Galleries in Paris is Prager’s first solo show in France. The artist will present her most recent photographs and films.