Explore artist Reine Paradis’ creative expression in these eccentric, chromatic (and at times witty) photographs of surreal landscapes in modern-day America. Reine’s fusion of reality and imagination ー and the vivid contrast of colors ー create extraordinary visuals. In her “Midnight Series”, she uses the bold Yves Klein blue often depicting natural elements like the sky and water. In contrast, the neon blue/green hues are used for rather man-made objects. Each unique scene is performative and narrative as her visions have been conceptualized and realized through a complex process.
But don’t let us explain any further ー the French-born LA-based visionary artist will tell you first-hand in our interview below. If that isn’t enough, check out her Instagram and upcoming feature documentary “Queen of Paradis” (2019) directed by Carl Lindstrom about the making of her latest series. If you can’t wait for next year, check for details about her upcoming exhibitions in Miami in October and Paris in November on her website.
Can you tell us a bit about how you wound up where you are today as an artist? Where did your journey begin, and how did you end up in LA?
Growing up in the South West of France, in a very remote place in the countryside. I moved to Paris to do my studies after which I moved to Los Angeles in 2012. This is when I started working on my first photo series “Jungle”.
What are some of the themes you like to explore in your work?
My projects question reality, so I think everything that surrounds me is a source of inspiration.
What’s the story behind your new “Midnight” series? What are some of the ideas you explore in this series, and how is it different from previous works?
For this new body of work, I have been exploring a new combination of colors: two sorts of blues and a very bright yellow which I had never used before. The series is entitled “Midnight” and I wanted to create images that look as if they were shot under an intense blue moon. Through the series, I create a time that is in between reality and imagination.
What inspires you to create your work? Who are some of your role models and idols (if you have any)?
My surroundings and the intensity of the natural light in CaliforniaI inspired me, which is very different from what I was used to in Europe.
Do you typically work alone, or with a crew? Do you like collaborating with other artists?
Working alone for the major part of the time, however, since I am the subject in my images for each shoot I am accompanied by my husband who takes the photos. He is an essential part of the team.
What does your creative process look like? What’s your favorite part in the process?
For each scene the process is the same: First I imagine a scene, then I create a maquette that I use as a reference throughout the whole process, I design the props, costumes and origamis and finally, I shoot the scene in a real location. In post production, I mainly retouch the saturation of the blue.
My favorite part of the process is when I draw the first ideas of a scene.
Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years? How do you think your work will evolve with time?
I believe I will continue to create and share my universe with the world for the rest of my life.
Who are some of your favorite artists that are women? Why are you drawn to their work?
Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artists. I love the strength that comes out of her art.
How do you see the creative landscape evolving for women?
Women are gaining more and more confidence and every day are becoming more important in the creative landscape.
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