Alex Prager is a male artist born in United States.
Alex Prager image

A self-taught photographer, Alex Prager (American, b. 1979) takes her cues from pulp fiction, the cinematic conventions of movie directors such as Douglas Sirk and Alfred Hitchcock, and the stylized fashion works of Guy Bourdin to construct images that are intentionally loaded, not unlike silent movies. Her unnerving narratives feature women disguised in synthetic wigs, dramatic makeup, and retro polyester attires. Shot from unexpected angles and dramatically lit, her crisp, boldly colored photographs offer a feeling of disquiet. Crowd #1 (Stan Douglas), one in a series of pictures shot for the November 2010 issue of W magazine, makes its debut here. It draws from Stan Douglas’s Hastings Park, 16 July 1955 (2008), among other sources, but Prager has enlisted a new cast of characters, dressed in 1970s outfits (which she selected), and shot the scene in her own signature style. The exhibition also presents the U.S. premiere of Prager’s debut film, Despair (2010). This four-minute film starring the actress Bryce Dallas Howard is, according to the artist, a “full-sensory version” of her photographs. Set in 1960s Los Angeles to a score by composer Ali Helnwein, this short is inspired by the 1948 film The Red Shoes, about a prima ballerina whose obsession with dance conflicts with her need for love, ultimately leading to her suicide. Focusing on the actress’s face to capture one intense emotion, Prager’s construction of images is intentionally loaded, reflecting her fascination with, and understanding of, cinematic melodrama.