Book Review: Loretta Lux – Imaginary Portraits

Study of a Girl 2, 2002

After the type heavy post earlier this week I thought I’d keep it much lighter today.  My latest book purchase arrived in the post yesterday and so it seems a perfect time to do a quick review of Loretta Lux: Imaginary Portraits published by aperture books.  It was first published in 2005 and it is still easy enough to get hold of first editions – I got mine on amazon for under £20.

Loretta takes portraits of children and digitally manipulates them to create seemingly otherworldly images.  It feels like she is trying to create an almost storybook feel to her subjects and many appear to have been cut out and placed on a new background.  The heads seem out of proportion to the body size and the eyes are frequently enlarged to make then an irresistible focal point.

All the images in this post are copyright Loretta Lux and you can find more of her work on her portfolio website HERE

As you look at the images below you need to be aware that they lack the subtle colour range that is present in the book.  It is definitely a case of the printed version being far superior to the on screen version. The 96 pages of the book have a high quality semi-gloss feel to them and the layout of the images on the pages is pleasing with the text being smaller and unassuming.  The book opens with an interesting essay by Francine Prose that discusses Lux’s work and her inspirations as well as talking about the images themselves

Almost all of the images are of children but towards the end of the book this is an image of a hunter and his dog.  It feels very out of place amongst the images of children and I’m curious as to why it was included in the collection – if you own the book or are aware of the series I’d be glad to hear your thoughts on it.

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