Tag Archives: Digital Images

Laurent Chéhère’s Flying Houses

Inspired by the 1956 short French childrens film Le Ballon Rouge, or The Red Balloon, Laurent Chhres part analog, part digital images of floating houses are at once a charming, imaginative take on Paris, and also a wistful vision of dreams deferred. carrera de fotografia . The work will be shown from Oct. 25 to Dec. 8 at Galerie Paris-Beijing in Paris.

Before transitioning to photography, Chhre was an art director at a French advertising agency. He first saw Le Ballon Rouge when he was young, and upon revisiting it recently, described it as a merveille [wonder] of poetry. In 1960, TIME Magazine named its director, Albert Lamorisse, probably the most original moviemaker in France.

The film stars the directors 6-year-old son Pascal as an inquisitive, adventurous Parisian tot who discovers a bright red balloon in the street one day. Lamorisses Paris is a city drained of color, still suffering from the fallout of the war, populated by stern grownups and bullying children. It is against this surprisingly grim backdrop that our story takes place. The boy discovers that the balloon is not simply a shiny, bouncy thing to be led about on a string but rather a living, expressive, mischievous character unto itself. Without the use of CGI, the director is able to coax an amazing performance out of latex and helium, and the boy and the balloon become fast friends. Ultimately, the adventure story that ensues is an ode to possibility, dreams and escape.

Mary Evans/Ronald GrantEverett Collection

A scene from “The Red Balloon.”

Chhres world has a similar color palette of greys, blues and browns. And it too shares a dose of the fantastical: the main charactersin this case buildings he digitally constructed from architectural details photographed around Parisappear to float in the sky. But something is different. Unlike the playful balloon with its dancing string, these floating objects appear settled, as if stasis has overtaken them and age has crept in.

Notes from workaday life appear throughout the photo seriestelevision antennae, For Sale signs, McDonalds and graffiti. Laundry appears in two of the nine images. Chhre, who turned 40 this year, has replaced the balloons dancing string with electrical wires, which both sustain the houses and also tie them in place. The one exception is a grim, grey-blue brick house with prison-like windows. Here, the wires have snapped, a fire rages in the second story, the inhabitants escape ladder has broken and tumbles out of the frame. Resting by the window, silhouetted by the blaze, is a birdcage, about to be engulfed in flames.

Albert Lamorisse’s film has a happy ending; the ending of Chhres meditation on middle-age life remains uncertain.

Laurent Chhre is a photographer based in Paris. More of his work is available on his website.

Laurent Chéhère’s Flying Houses

Inspired by the 1956 short French childrens film Le Ballon Rouge, or The Red Balloon, Laurent Chhres part analog, part digital images of floating houses are at once a charming, imaginative take on Paris, and also a wistful vision of dreams deferred. The work will be shown from Oct. 25 to Dec. 8 at Galerie Paris-Beijing in Paris.

Before transitioning to photography, Chhre was an art director at a French advertising agency. He first saw Le Ballon Rouge when he was young, and upon revisiting it recently, described it as a merveille [wonder] of poetry. In 1960, TIME Magazine named its director, Albert Lamorisse, probably the most original moviemaker in France.

The film stars the directors 6-year-old son Pascal as an inquisitive, adventurous Parisian tot who discovers a bright red balloon in the street one day. Lamorisses Paris is a city drained of color, still suffering from the fallout of the war, populated by stern grownups and bullying children. It is against this surprisingly grim backdrop that our story takes place. The boy discovers that the balloon is not simply a shiny, bouncy thing to be led about on a string but rather a living, expressive, mischievous character unto itself. Without the use of CGI, the director is able to coax an amazing performance out of latex and helium, and the boy and the balloon become fast friends. Ultimately, the adventure story that ensues is an ode to possibility, dreams and escape.

Mary Evans/Ronald GrantEverett Collection

A scene from “The Red Balloon.”

Chhres world has a similar color palette of greys, blues and browns. And it too shares a dose of the fantastical: the main charactersin this case buildings he digitally constructed from architectural details photographed around Parisappear to float in the sky. But something is different. carrera de fotografia . Unlike the playful balloon with its dancing string, these floating objects appear settled, as if stasis has overtaken them and age has crept in.

Notes from workaday life appear throughout the photo seriestelevision antennae, For Sale signs, McDonalds and graffiti. Laundry appears in two of the nine images. Chhre, who turned 40 this year, has replaced the balloons dancing string with electrical wires, which both sustain the houses and also tie them in place. The one exception is a grim, grey-blue brick house with prison-like windows. Here, the wires have snapped, a fire rages in the second story, the inhabitants escape ladder has broken and tumbles out of the frame. Resting by the window, silhouetted by the blaze, is a birdcage, about to be engulfed in flames.

Albert Lamorisse’s film has a happy ending; the ending of Chhres meditation on middle-age life remains uncertain.

Laurent Chhre is a photographer based in Paris. More of his work is available on his website.

Yvette Meltzer

I recently had the great honor to juror the Imagination exhibition that opens at the The A Smith Gallery today and runs through April 1st. The first place photograph, Revolutions in Green, was awarded to Yvette Meltzer for an image from her Revolutions series. I selected this work because she captured something ordinary and but able to make it extraordinary. As Yvette states, “Freshly washed laundry stirs in me a sense of hope with its freshness and renewal. Capturing the laundry revolving in the clothes dryer presented even more of a rebirth in its transformed state.”

Revolutions in Green

Currently living in Evanston, Illinois, Yvette has been exploring photography for thirty years. Along with a career as an educator, conflict resolution specialist, mediator and mother, she continues to be inspired by the photographic world. Taking daily photographs for the last five years, Yvette is now exhibiting work that is a convergence of color, light, and form in the abstract.

Revolutions: Whether hanging on clotheslines or over rocks or from windows in Europe, drying laundry has long fascinated me. After taking a multitude of outdoor laundry images over the years, it was while in Chicago in February 2007 that I wondered where I might find laundry drying. My curiosity took me into a variety of Laundromats where I began taking photos.

I was drawn to the twirling colors of the laundry spinning in the dryers but I never imagined what I would ultimately find when I went to the computer to view these digital images of the laundry. Therein I saw faces and forms – both human and animal-like. And I was hooked. Thus was my laundry project born.

What has been most exciting for me is moving from capturing concrete laundry images to the abstract forms that have emerged on this journey. As Picasso said, “There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.” I believe that is what this series does. I start with fabric and a dryer, and in collaboration with my camera, we transform the reality.

Most people can’t fathom why I am taking photos of the dryers or clothes in a dryer. When I go into a Laundromat with my camera some are suspicious and some are even fearful. Believing I might be a government agent seeking to identify undocumented residents I have sometimes been asked to leave. Others personalize it and ask why I want to take pictures of their clothes. Why are you taking pictures of my clothes? one indignant woman asked me. Another woman shouted, “Don’t take my laundry!” behaving as if I were actually physically taking her clothes out of the dryer.

After having been told I was not allowed to photograph even my own laundry spinning in some Laundromats, and not even allowed entry with my camera to some other Laundromats, I have begun to carry a small portfolio with me with to show some of my dryer images to the Laundromat attendant and they will usually then grant me their permission to stay.

In the course of focusing on this laundry project, I have had a host of interesting conversations with customers, attendants and/or owners of the Laundromats. I enjoy photography as a vehicle to relationships. It is usually the children who are in the Laundromat with a family member that are the most curious and the most interested. That could be because they still have imagination!

barbara astman: clementine

from the installation ‘clementine’ 2003 – 2004

date made: 2003-04
materials: installation element: seasonal lights, black and white digital images on acetate
measurements: aprox. 24 x 8 ft.
other information: installation: art gallery of windsor, windsor, ontario

all content copyright © barbara astman all rights reserved
via centre for contemporary canadian art database

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