Jenny van Sommers: Series 9

The Photographer Gives a Surreal Twist to Classic Shots with Her Vibrant Geometric Additions

Still life photographer Jenny van Sommers transforms the pages of late French cultural magazine Réalités with strategically placed shapes in her surreal Series 9 project. Using cardboard cutouts and covering them in brilliantly colored oil paint pigments, van Sommers re-appropriated the design-lovers’ magazine, which featured essays and editorials on arts, culture and politics. As well as winning praise for her eye-catching and carefully constructed still lifes for the likes of Apple, Hermès and Vogue, van Sommers is an art world favorite, and has photographed Damien Hirst’s diamond skull, “For the Love of God,” at London’s iconic Hatton Garden. Avidly collected by her father, Réalités has a personal connection for the London-based Australian. “I just couldn’t quite throw them away,” says van Sommers of the inherited magazines. “I had them sitting in the studio and knew I should use them.” The resulting process saw van Sommers coarsely tear out her favorite images before sieving the pigment onto geometric shapes and shooting them from above on a Hasselblad. “The picture of the horse has always been my favorite cover,” says van Sommers on her choices from Réalités. “The beautiful old Kodachrome colors which are really bright, but faded at the same time.”

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