Alex Prager: Irene
A young blonde woman holds up her hands against the frantic flapping of grey pigeons encircling her. Another female character, this one in a red skirt, floats listlessly in a dark pool of blue water, her discarded pair of yellow heels resting nearby. Invoking intrigue and suspense with her luridly-colored dramas, photographer ingénue Alex Prager depicts the fissures of deception through retro Americana scenarios that somehow look timeless. “I want the pictures to be a fusion of the past with the present. That’s how I see the world. We’re never entirely in one period at one time,” explains Prager.
Drawing on cinematic cues from directors Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch, Prager’s photos use exaggerated angles and theatrical lighting to create a melodramatic world of mystery with women frequently poised beneath low flying planes—Prager’s signature homage to the film North by Northwest. The suggestively bleak compositions are balanced by the bold hues of the vintage clothing and synthetic wigs that subjects wear. “People used color then in a way they’d be embarrassed to use now,” Prager reasons. In her work the artifice of color creates a ‘separation of reality,’ conjuring both a mood and an era characterized by unrest that lies just below seemingly perfect surfaces. read more