Loretta Lux: New Work.
Photographs by Loretta Lux, with an essay by Wim van Sinderen.
Torch Gallery., Amsterdam., 2004.
An exhibition catalog from the Torch Gallery in Amsterdam, featuring three new images from Loretta Lux. The catalog is constructed of heavy, paper-wrapped boards and will stand alone to display the work.
'In 2002, when we exhibited Paul Ruigrok’s monumental photograph of a lavishly tattooed baby in our museum, many visitors responded with incomprehension, anger and disgust. What kind of parents would do such a thing to an innocent baby? If I told them that the photographer had created the image by working for three months on the computer to produce a single photograph using material from a hundred separate shots – for example, the head and body were actually those of two different infants – and that the tattoos had been skilfully rendered onto the baby’s back, their rejection swiftly turned into admiration and they exclaimed in excited wonder “To think that photography can produce such literally fantastic images!
'Where this kind of over-the-top example of digital manipulation is concerned, especially one created for purposes of advertising, I am prepared to give away such ‘trade secrets’. Technically, Loretta Lux uses much the same procedures as Paul Ruigrok. Even so, it would be a pity to explain them to visitors, particularly because her digital interventions are far more subtle and stand in a pleasingly provocative relationship to the non-fictional visual eloquence of her chosen child-models. The children she uses for her portraits are invariably pleased with the final result, even if they are not always depicted in a ‘true-to-life’ way. The hidden strength of Lux’s work lies in its meticulous balance between fact and fiction, or – in other words – its amalgam of traditional photography with still more traditional painterly techniques. Lux’s background as a trained painter, who happens to dislike the smell and tactile sensation of oil on canvas but otherwise feels herself indebted to all the established formal techniques of the discipline, has led her to conduct new experiments in painting, which are in fact ‘only’ fictional photographic images generated by the artist’s imagination and constructed with the help of digital techniques.'
-Wim van Sinderen, curator, Hague Museum of Photography.