b. 1979, United States

Alex Prager Artworks

Photography

Alex Prager's influences range from Hollywood cinema, to experimental films, popular culture, and street photography. The city of Los Angeles is referenced as both a subject and an object of enquiry throughout Alex Prager's photography. Melodrama and real emotion are fused together in the artist's images. Her photographs take note of the expectations of Hollywood fame and glamour, as well as the discontent of the city's inhabitants.

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Even in very early work, Prager hinted at undercurrents of brutality and violence (particularly towards women) in mid-20th century American cinema. Julie (2007) shows a woman in a muted, canary yellow two-piece suit crouching down at the side of a road, while a black bird appears to dive towards her. The stark contrast between highly stylised, artificial beauty and cold realism adds a sense of dark comedy to real emotion within Prager's work.

Films

During an exhibition at the Michael Hoppen Gallery in London in 2008, Prager received a high volume of questions concerning the narratives behind her still photography. In response to this fascination, Prager decided to add an additional dimension to her photographs by turning them into motion-picture films.

Prager's directorial debut Despair (2010) featured Bryce Dallas Howard, the eldest daughter of legendary Hollywood filmmaker Ron Howard. The short, four-minute film tells the story of a woman who, after receiving some news from a phone call, takes her life by jumping off a New York-style apartment building. Premiering at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2010, Prager described her film as a 'full-sensory version' of her photographs—the use of climactic music, long, panoramic shots and special effects adding an extra layer of theatricality and melodrama to the narrative.

Starting with Despair (2010), Prager has directed eight films including Emmy award-winning, Touch of Evil (2011) with actress Jessica Chastain. In 2018, Silver Lake, a major exhibition at The Photographer's Gallery in London, UK, and a publication of the same name, celebrated and documented Prager's work to date.

In 2019, Prager presented an exhibition of new work, including a new film, Play the Wind (2019), at Lehmann Maupin in New York. In the 8 minute film the protagonists, Dimitri Chamblas (dean of the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at the California Institute of the Arts) and Riley Keough (American Honey and The Girlfriend Experience), lead a journey throughout Los Angeles.

Prints

Alex Prager is most widely known for her images of crowds. Face in the Crowd is Prager's meditation on the heightened emotion and chaos of being part of a crowd of people. Prager directed over 250 actors dressed in meticulously chosen costumes, hair and makeup. Each image abides by a different cultural memory.

Shot on a Los Angeles soundstage in early 2013, the busy crowds gather at airport terminals, hotel lobbies, beaches, movie theatres, and other public spaces. Prager explored similar themes within a film of the same name starring Elizabeth Banks. Presented alongside Prager's still photography at Lehmann Maupin in 2014, the film is an immersive artwork, a three-channel video installation, with three monologues told in three different voiceovers.

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Califronia by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Califronia, 2024 Archival pigment print
121.9 x 121.9 cm
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California, Too by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager California, Too, 2024 Archival pigment print
121.9 x 121.9 cm
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Hollywood (Day) by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Hollywood (Day), 2024 Archival pigment print
106.7 x 148 cm
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Western Mechanics by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Western Mechanics, 2024 Archival pigment print
106.7 x 125.7 cm
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Twilight by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Twilight, 2021 Archival pigment print
121.9 x 105.4 cm
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Run by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography, moving image
Alex Prager Run, 2022 Film still
11 x 21 cm
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Sleep by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Sleep, 2022 Archival pigment print
40 x 77.4 inches
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Cecily by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Cecily, 2022 Archival pigment print
21 x 36 inches
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The West by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager The West, 2022 Archival pigment print
48 x 63.7 inches
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The General by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager The General, 2022 Archival pigment print
13.7 x 10 cm
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Valley by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Valley, 2022 Archival pigment print
24.5 x 24 inches
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Mary Suspended Between Heaven and Earth by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Mary Suspended Between Heaven and Earth, 2022 Archival pigment print
59 x 42.5 inches
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Liberty by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Liberty, 2022 Archival pigment print
48 x 35 inches
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Glory by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Glory, 2022 Archival pigment print
36 x 49.4 cm
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Claire and Frances by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Claire and Frances, 2022 Archival pigment print
48 x 62.3 inches
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High Noon by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager High Noon, 2021 Archival pigment print
149.9 x 125.7 cm
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Mid-Morning by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Mid-Morning, 2021 Archival pigment print
62.9 x 55.9 cm
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Eclipse by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Eclipse, 2021 Archival pigment print
48 x 40.3 inches
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Dawn by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Dawn, 2021 Archival pigment print
121.92 x 93.73 cm
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Twilight by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Twilight, 2021 Archival pigment print
121.9 x 105.4 cm
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Afternoon by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Afternoon, 2021 Archival pigment print
121.9 x 95.3 cm
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Welcome Home by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Welcome Home, 2019 Archival pigment print
121.9 x 196.9 cm
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Ian (after Philip Lorca diCorcia) by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Ian (after Philip Lorca diCorcia), 2016 C-print
91.4 x 68.6 cm
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Four Girls by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Four Girls, 2007 C-print
36 x 41.5 inches
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Deborah by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Deborah, 2009 C-print
36 x 49.5 inches
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Orchestra East, Section B by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Orchestra East, Section B, 2016 Archival pigment print
59 x 89.8 inches
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Orchestra Center (Stage) by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Orchestra Center (Stage), 2016 Archival pigment print
52 x 48 inches
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Étoiles by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Étoiles, 2016 Archival pigment print
48 x 39.2 inches
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Act III, Scene 1 by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Act III, Scene 1, 2016 Archival pigment print
36 x 27 inches
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Act III, Scene 2 by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Act III, Scene 2, 2016 Archival pigment print
59 x 59 inches
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Lower Level, Door 2 by Alex Prager contemporary artwork print
Alex Prager Lower Level, Door 2, 2016 Archival pigment print
150.8 x 200.7 x 6 cm
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Play the Wind by Alex Prager contemporary artwork moving image
Alex Prager Play the Wind, 2019 Single-channel video, 8:01 minutes, colour, sound
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Yellow Pages by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Yellow Pages, 2019 Archival pigment print
121.9 x 93.1 cm
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Big West by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Big West, 2019 Archival pigment print
149.9 x 193.7 cm
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La Grande Sortie (still) by Alex Prager contemporary artwork moving image
Alex Prager La Grande Sortie (still), 2015 Single channel video, colour and sound
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La Grande Sortie (still) by Alex Prager contemporary artwork moving image
Alex Prager La Grande Sortie (still), 2015 Single channel video, colour and sound
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Applause by Alex Prager contemporary artwork moving image
Alex Prager Applause, 2016 Single-channel video, colour, looped
12.5 x 19.5 x 3.63 inches
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Shopping Plaza 1 by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Shopping Plaza 1, 2015 archival pigment print
59 x 90 inches
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Hawkins Street by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Hawkins Street, 2017 archival pigment print
12.97 x 24 inches
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Cats by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Cats, 2017 archival pigment print
48 x 37.5 inches
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Act II, Scene 1 by Alex Prager contemporary artwork painting
Alex Prager Act II, Scene 1, 2016 Archival pigment print
30 x 38 inches
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La Grande Sortie by Alex Prager contemporary artwork moving image
Alex Prager La Grande Sortie, 2016 Archival pigment prints, single-channel video with color and sound on blue-ray disc and thumbdrive, storyboards dimensions of prints to be determined duration: 10 minutes
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La Grande Sortie by Alex Prager contemporary artwork moving image
Alex Prager La Grande Sortie, 2016 Archival pigment prints, single-channel video with color and sound on blue-ray disc and thumbdrive, storyboards dimensions of prints to be determined duration: 10 minutes
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See's Candies, Payless, Supercuts 2 by Alex Prager contemporary artwork print
Alex Prager See's Candies, Payless, Supercuts 2, 2015 Archival pigment print
126.7 x 328.9 x 6.4 cm
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Shopping Plaza 2 by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Shopping Plaza 2, 2015 Archival pigment print
59 x 77.3 inches
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See’s Candies, Payless, Supercuts 1 by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager See’s Candies, Payless, Supercuts 1, 2015 Archival pigment print
48 x 127.45 inches
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Simi Valley by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Simi Valley, 2014 archival pigment print
47 x 96 inches
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Burbank by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Burbank, 2014 archival pigment print
59 x 78.58 inches
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Culver City by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Culver City, 2014 archival pigment print
59 x 88.5 inches
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Crowd #9 (Sunset Five) by Alex Prager contemporary artwork photography
Alex Prager Crowd #9 (Sunset Five), 2013 Archival pigment print,
151.1 x 233.3 cm
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