IN MONOCHROME WITH BALTHUS – HISAJ HARA
Posted on January 15, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi
“We do not know how to see reality” Albert Camus
Balthus’s paintings have always appeared naive and slightly sinister to me. Canvas where the figurative style emphasized on a dark or fairytaled or mysterious atmosphere. Balthus works are certainly timeless, but according to many, strange. A reverie that seems to have touched Japanese photographer Hisaji Hara. His series of images meticulously recreate Balthus’ most famous works. Between 2006 and 2011, a real young girl, have been posing for the photographer, recreating the suggestive originals. Shooting in black and white, Hara’s nod to Balthus, recreated the surreal oddness, with a touch of formal Japanese film. The setting for the interiors has been a Japanese medical clinic. These tableaux hark between a suspended period between childhood and adulthood and Hara’s technique is the old-fashioned, labour-intensive method that includes multiple exposures and the use of a smoke machine to create the opaque quality. The blur and the opaqueness used thus creates the otherworldly atmosphere. Hara’s monochrome portraits look strangely familiar to me and become an interesting discovery and a gorgeous composition and example of tableaux vivant.