Photographers in Focus: Alex Prager


from the beginning I wanted to tell stories I wanted to get an emotional response from audience I wanted there to be a play on ideas building my own worlds but then also to have that layer of artifice sitting right on top of something very real that’s where the interesting line is [Music] I love shooting in Los Angeles it’s like a blank canvas and it needs artists the city needs to be molded people come here to find their own identity and they can make the city into whatever they want it to be for themselves with every tragedy there needs to be a balance of comedy there always needs to be that level of playfulness for it to work for me street photography is a huge influence in my work for the first six months when I became a photographer I started with you know printing my own black-and-white street photographs there’s been so much work done in street photography that’s been so good and at such a high level and there was something that I felt like I couldn’t really contribute to street photography because it was already so perfect when I started fabricating worlds whole worlds and building props and starting to play with scale and distorting reality more on a practical level a tangible level that all kind of started around this serious compulsion my work has always been about perception the reality versus reality it’s a way for me to be able to experience it and to actually have a conversation about it to speak on any subject matter no matter how dark no matter how up the idea of one moment captured that just has all of these layers to it you know all of these things are still really important to me and if it’s if if I can capture it in a fictional story for a film or if I can capture it as one image it’s still really interesting to me but I have to check myself to make sure I don’t start repeating myself with with photography now that I’ve got film as a medium growing up in Los Angeles I could have chosen to be a filmmaker at any point I guess but it was kind of by accident I was getting a little bit disinterested in photography already and then 2008 I went to London showed this series called the Big Valley and people were coming up to me asking me what was happening and with the girl in the photo what happened to her just before what happened just after and so people were kind of asking for a narrative and so that’s what led me to shooting my first short film to spare I shot it with Bryce Dallas Howard and I approached it in that exact way I had an emotion in mind one moment in mind that’s happened is in the very middle of the film and I show in this kind of surreal playful way what happens before and after that frame and when I finished despair I came back to photography totally reinvigorated [Music] when I did lager and sortie we were seeing through the dancers eyes on the stage the crowd can be a sea of anonymous faces that are out to get you or they can be individuals that have interesting lives and different experience tracks I think the whole point of film is emotion emotion has always been the through line for my work and it’s always the most important thing for me if there’s no emotional impact when I watch something that I’ve shot or looking at a picture that I made if I don’t feel some kind of emotion from it then for me it’s not really worth they got into the world [Music]

15 Replies to “Photographers in Focus: Alex Prager

  1. Willem Verbeeck: "…Absolutely, my favourite photographer right now is Alex Prager…"
    https://youtu.be/Yrcq8FRBeyo?t=553 Quality vlog. He interviews artists, and seeks out assisting opportunities to improve his own oevre+teq, so Alex&co, if you're reading this, I'm sure he'd love you on his show when you're next in NYC, and he looks like he'd be a genuinely skilled assistant for a project <3

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