Photographs by Elad Lassry.
Rat Hole Gallery,
136 pp., 62 color illustrations, 14¼x11¼".
Elad Lassry, who was born in 1977 in Tel Aviv and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, is known for his visually seductive yet detached, complex photographs and films that investigate the use of images in our visual culture, along with their inherent layers of histories and formalisms. By creating compositions and images that are simultaneously familiar and alien, both ever present and elusive, Lassry’s work explores current possibilities for the engagement with pictures and challenges the viewer with physical and perceptual paradoxes.
Lassry’s photographs reference a diversity of genres such as still life compositions, photocollages, studio portraits of friends and celebrities, and involve a broad range of image-making processes. The subjects in his works, which also canvas a wide range of everyday objects, people, animals, and landscapes, are placed within saturated fields of color and removed from their original context and history. Drawing on source material such as advertising, vintage picture magazines, illustrated books, and film archives, the resulting photographs are collages of pre-existing images or newly staged studio photographs in which the artist plays with the relationship between analog and digital methods of producing images. Lassry creates what he describes as a “nervous picture”- one that, according to the artist, “makes your faculties fail, when your comfort about having visual information or knowing the world is somehow shaken.” Further complicated by Lassry’s use of layered exposures, blurs, and harsh colors, the images slide between stillness and movement, and the viewer’s eye is never fixed. Lassry’s photographic works are made so that their dimensions never exceed the size of a magazine page, and the frames, which are painted with richly saturated colors that derive from the dominant hues in the photographs, also play a fundamental role. By allowing the viewer to consider the photographs as physical objects, Lassry raises the issue of whether the work’s existence is image-based or object-based, or whether it can be both, and opens up broader conceptual questions about the interaction between the tangible and cognitive experiences of a picture.
The book was released to coincide with his solo exhibition of new work at Rat Hole Gallery, Tokyo 26 May - 29 July 2012.
The Exhibition featured an installation of photography, 16mm film and sculpture, the artist's first show in Japan.
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