Are they paintings or photographs?
Real or fantasy?
In Loretta Lux's gently surreal portraits of children, nothing is quite what it seems.
<--- "At the Window" Ilfochrome © 2004 Loretta Lux
The German photographer Loretta Lux does not have a motherly eye. Her subjects are chosen, she says, "because children are very genuine; they don’t wear masks".
Trained as a painter, Lux builds up images in layers. She takes hundreds of photographs of her models in vintage clothing against a white backdrop before transposing them onto a background that she has photographed or painted. Then she tinkers digitally, altering the child's expression and the image's hues to achieve an eerie pastel perfection - a process of subtle modification which can take several months.
"The Rose Garden" Ilfochrome
© 2001 Loretta Lux --->
" (...) The influence of Old Masters painters such as Bronzino, Goya, Runge and Velasquez is most evident in the way Lux carefully structures her finished compositions.The resulting images portray children who seem extraordinarily isolated and self-aware. The sparseness of the images is reminiscent of Vermeer, the colours are painterly, and despite the aura of spontaneity that usually surrounds children, the poses are painstakingly constructed – Lux’s photographs could hardly be more different from a snapshot. The subjects are both isolated and distant, a basic experience of human existence. Like aliens uncertain how they got here, they are suspended between past and future, their thoughts impossible to guess – whether filled with memories, or fear, or dissatisfaction. These children convey a startling self-awareness akin to the discovery of the self, challenging the ideal of childhood innocence. " Loretta Lux Retrospective 11-02-2006 t/m 28-05-2006 * Hague Museum of Photography - Voor het eerst in een museum: het volledige oeuvre van deze 'rising star' van de internationale kunstwereld.
"Spring" Ilfochrome © 2001 Loretta Lux
lili confetti loves Loretta Lux and invites you to visit the charming sweet-and-sour world of Ms Lux at www.lorettalux.de