Photography

Kate Ballis' Candy-Colored "Infra Realism"

Jul 22, 2018 - Aug 25, 2018Garis & Hahn, Los Angeles

Garis & Hahn Gallery in Los Angeles is opening a solo show of photographs by Melbourne-based photographer Kate Ballis. The show, titled Hypercolour Fantasy: Infra Realism, is Ballis' US debut, inspired by a groundbreaking infrared documentary series by Irish photographer Richard Mosse.

Ballis' Infra Realism series features 13 large-scale powerfully seductive photographs that transform everyday southern California archetypes--modernist architecture, pools, vintage cars and desert scenes--into otherworldly candy-colored dreamscapes. Shot with a specially converted full-spectrum mirrorless camera using various infrared filters, the artist reimagines iconic Palm Springs locations, such as the Ace Hotel & Swim Club, the Palm Springs Tennis Club and the Parker Hotel, as a surreal world in which succulents and palm trees are depicted in vibrant hues of blue, skies are a rich magenta, and swimming pools blood red. The contrasting, high-spirited colors illuminate the textures of the lush foliage that once blended into the desert landscape.

The hyper-saturated images subvert the desert city's previously muted landscape into mysteriously alluring, joyously alive technicolor fantasias, creating an unsettling ambiguity, an otherworldliness in which the viewer questions reality and the world around oneself. Making the unseen, seen, Ballis' infrared photographs offer a glimpse into the unknown, an uninhabited distant planet or parallel universe, at once strange and familiar. The Australian publisher Manuscript will release a book for Infra Realism in November.