Alex Prager - Photographs London Friday, May 15, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Michael Hoppen Gallery, London

  • Catalogue Essay

    A self-taught photographer inspired by Eggleston to pursue the medium, Alex Prager's cinematic and darkly playful characters inhabit a world of her creation. Photographing her female subjects such as Desiree from her Big Valley series in a eerie style reminiscent of film directors from Hitchcock to David Lynch, Prager's girls are temptresses that could incite danger at any moment. Shot from extreme angles and dramatically lit, she creates the sense there is action preceding and following the captured frame that we are not privy to, luring the viewer into the heroine's own moment of intrigue or peril. On the surface her models appear polished and confectionery but something is amiss, creating a utopia sprung with tension with the audience as voyeurs. Prager has already established her signature style - a highly saturated naive colour palette, synthetic wigs, retro costumes, and meticulously placed subjects in Californian environs. Her work  has been included in over 20 exhibitions worldwide as well as publications including i-D, Flaunt, Complex, Elle Japan, MOJO and Rolling Stone.

  • Artist Biography

    Alex Prager

    American • 1979

    Influenced by pulp fiction and cinematic tropes, self-taught photographer and film-maker Alex Prager creates striking, sometimes unnerving images that are filled with a dynamic cast of characters. The hyperreal worlds she creates are packed with human melodrama, like the retro 'damsel in distress' character that regularly makes appearances in Prager's brightly colored and dramatically lit scenes.

    With influences ranging from David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock, William Eggleston, Cindy Sherman, and Gregory Crewdson, Prager references the vivid aesthetics of mid-twentieth century American cinema and photography. Pairing photographs alongside her films as part of her practice, Prager presents an eerie, alternative world where more questions are asked than answered. 

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Desiree from The Big Valley

Colour coupler print, flush-mounted.
91.8 x 125.1 cm. (36 1/8 x 49 1/4 in).
Signed, titled, dated and numbered 5/7 in ink on a label affixed to the reverse of the frame.

£5,000 - 7,000 

Sold for £6,000


16 May 2009, 3pm