A native to Los Angeles, Alex Prager's photography career began on the cusp of her teens. After holding down a slew of jobs in the private sector, from selling knives to washing cars, Prager, so inspired by the modern works of William Eggleston, decided to make the leap to full time photographer. With little more than a camera, a few odd subjects, and some rolls of black and white she set off down that long and familiar road of the sojourning artist: self-discovery.
At 22, she took work shooting fashion editorials for high profile magazines such as Flaunt and V while simultaneously forging a path on the Los Angeles independent gallery circuit, hosting solo as well as group shows almost every other month. As her list of collectors grew, so did her list of clients. Geffen, Warner, I-D, Elle, Complex, Prager's unique flair for capturing the subtlety in her subjects began to earn her worldwide recognition. Regardless of burgeoning commercial success, her pension for independent artistic exploration continued uninterrupted.
Prager's most recent exhibition, "The Book Of Disquiet: The Seven Deadly Sins" has been her most critically successful to date. In keeping with her continued and growing importance on the downtown art scene, her pieces are both alluring,odd and ,most importantly, riveting and compelling. The photographs capture the essence of each sin; sometimes with a wink and a smirk, sometimes with the shy bat of lashes, and sometimes with a blunt obvious blow to the head. The work carries Prager's signature surreal high-saturation color and the use of high-gloss plexiglass, which further gives the viewer the feeling of peering into an alternate strange and wonderful world. It is Prager's ability to do just this: juxtaposing the horrific and grotesque next to an almost childlike glamour, and have both carry equal weight, that mark her relevance in the modern art world. The exhibition also produced a collaborative book, with fine artist Mercedes Helenwein, that was an overwhelming success. As one writer for the LA Times noted: "Her photographs reveal a keen eye for the shining and the bizarre, a bit Annie Leibovitz, a bit Diane Arbus."
Seldom in our vast collective consciousness do we stumble upon imagery that leads us both locked in a finite time period and at the same time full of fresh contemporary narratives. Prager’s cinematic approach is reminiscent of the mid 20th century angst and naivety that Hitchcock, John Waters, and David Lynch portrayed. Stories unfold with each photograph that stimulate the senses. Playful yet bizarre scenes are a balancing act between fantasy and reality. Much like the tradition of Cindy Sherman, film stills are staged that have a vague familiarity that keep the viewer wanting more.
This body of work that has been realized over this last year continues to intrigue and titillate with a fresh yet strangely comforting uneasiness. We are very pleased to present the work of Alex Prager at our gallery.