Paradise

Larry Fink, Alain LeFort


Created during postwar America, Larry Fink’s photo diaries depict a generation of disenfranchised youths known as “beats” who took to the streets, rejecting authority and capitalism. This term, coined by author Jack Kerouac, refers to “crazy illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere.” These images are encased in the specificity of time, both idyllic and dangerously on the fringes, denoting a loss of innocence during America’s “innocent years.” Through his lens, Fink portrays this iconic subculture within the American landscape. He maintains an ambiguous role: these pictures imply an intimacy with his subjects and an ease within their domestic environments, while an observational composition belies the photographer as one of these “beats.” Artist talk, see page 14

Alain LeFort searches for a lost paradise, which leads him to digitally fabricate an idealized landscape. For this series, the artist embarked upon a solo journey and captured the circumference of an island in northern Quebec. Shot one frame at a time, his images are compiled together from fragments of an idyllic environment. His digital creations are intentionally absent of any figures, to emphasize the sublime beauty of this landscape. Only the egides (shields) are free of digital manipulation, yet they appear intensely hyperrealistic. By applying a mirror effect to this natural scenery, LeFort challenges the viewer’s perception as reality and illusion blur together.

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