Artist Spotlight: Reine Paradis

This week’s StandardVision artist spotlight on the SVLA1 screen at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles features Los Angeles-based photographer Reine Paradis. Paradis’ surreal worlds question what is reality and what is constructed, using minimalist geometry and vivid swathes of color through a multi-disciplinary practice. Inspired by her youth in the south of France and the intensity of light and colors in Los Angeles, her images combine Klein blue with atomic-era orange to create landscapes that appear both desolate and vivid. Paradis is the latest artist to be invited to take over the two-week-long recurring 15-second spot to showcase her work to the public. Her selected photographs will be on view through January 28, 2018.

“Jungle” is a series of surreal, bold, and yet desolate images. Can you tell us what inspired you and a little more about the project?

I started working on my Jungle photo series when I moved to Los Angeles in 2012. I was very inspired by my new surroundings and felt very inspired by the intensity of the natural light which is very different from what I was used to in Europe. Everything with my work imposes itself naturally from the colors to the compositions. I have always loved intense colors and I am naturally drawn to simple shapes, lines, minimal architecture and geometric shapes. The combination of the two creates a world that looks surreal.

Your images are heavily process based, not just a simple iteration of photography. Could you tell us about your 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.

The skies in your pieces are a distinct Klein blue. His pieces in the late 1950s and early 60s relied heavily on the color, causing the color to effectively become the art. Do you think that your work uses colors similarly – that you convey concepts more largely through colors?

Yes, colors are extremely important in my work. Since I can remember I have always been drawn to intense colors and they are imperative to convey my vision.

Why do you use yourself as the central subject?

The fact that I stage myself in my work adds a performance dimension, which is essential. It is a necessity for me to “live” the scene in order to transmit the original vision completely.

What drew you to Los Angeles?

I wanted to explore a new part of the world which was very different from Europe and LA seemed like an exciting place! However since I had never been to the US before I didn’t know for sure whether I would like it or not. As soon as I arrived, I knew it was the place for me and I instantly felt inspired, and still am until this day.

Who or where inspires you most lately?

Lately I have traveled a lot and have come across new locations that really inspire me, for example Hawaii and Mexico.

Do you have any exciting projects coming up? 

Yes! I am now working on my upcoming photo series entitled “Midnight” which will be coming out  this summer, as well as a documentary about my work that will be released at the opening of my upcoming exhibition in LA. Exact dates and locations are coming soon.

You can see more of Reine’s work on her website and Instagram.