Alex Prager’s Hyperreal America In Photographs

Alex Prager Studio/Lehmann Maupin Gallery
Alex Prager is an American art photographer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Her photographs primarily use staged actors, models and extras to create “meticulously designed mise en scène”, often described as film-like and hyperreal. “Alex Prager: Silver Lake Drive” is at the Photographers’ Gallery, London, 15 June – 14 October 2018. Here: Crowd #3 (Pelican Beach), 2013.

More Alex Prager h/t: guardian

Alex Prager Studio/Lehmann Maupin Gallery
The photographer works like a director, casting actors to follow scripts she has written, and using sets she builds, machines for lighting and weather and lifting. Here: Culver City, 2014.

Alex Prager Studio/Lehmann Maupin Gallery
The American artist’s work encompasses fashion, photography and film with characteristically vivid colour and unsettling theatricality. Here: The Big Valley, Susie and Friends, 2008.

Alex Prager Studio/Lehmann Maupin Gallery
Prager’s eye for filmic detail and salient storylines sees her taking inspiration from film history to make stills of her own. Here: The Big Valley: Eve, 2008.

Alex Prager Studio/Lehmann Maupin Gallery
While the scenes are fabricated, the characters Prager shoots are often played by people on the street whose style and look have caught her eye. Here: Crowd #5 (Washington Square West), 2013.

Alex Prager Studio/Lehmann Maupin Gallery
“Her work is reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch, her glamorous noir-esque heroines dying horrible deaths by drowning, falling out of windows or suffering excruciating loneliness”. Here: Polyester Julie, 2007.

Alex Prager Studio/Lehmann Maupin Gallery
Prager was inspired to become a photographer in her early 20s, after seeing an exhibition of work by master of colour photography William Egglesto. Here: Polyester Ellen, 2007.

Alex Prager Studio/Lehmann Maupin Gallery
On her use of saturated colour, Prager has said it adds “this strange lie on top of the truth that I thought was just a little creepier and more interesting to work with”. Here: The Big Valley: Desiree, 2008.

Alex Prager Studio/Lehmann Maupin Gallery
The starting point for her 2012 series Compulsion was driving on a freeway past a vehicle on fire and at risk of imminent explosion. Here: 3.14 Pacific Ocean, Eye #9 (diptych), from the series Compulsion, 2012.

Alex Prager Studio/Lehmann Maupin Gallery
4:01 pm, Sun Valley, from the series Compulsion, 2012.

Alex Prager Studio/Lehmann Maupin Gallery
Over the last 10 years, Prager’s productions have grown in ambition and scope, taking advantage of the film industry on her LA doorstep, with its sound stages, costume and makeup expertise, full-scale sets and special effects capabilities. Here: Anaheim, 2017.

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