*By Devon Tincknell
Living in a post-Photoshop world, seeing is no longer always believing. From blown out impossibilities of Hollywood’s movie magic to the subtle distortions of reality advertisers undertake everyday, “photographic proof” means considerably less than it used to. While many documentary photographers have rebuked this aesthetic and stuck to the reality, French photographer Alain Delorme is using a gentle touch with digital editing to create images that are both striking and unsettling.
In “Totems,” Delorme documents the conflicting consumer-capitalist-communist landscape of China, where old fashioned peasantry and industrial progress bleed together as seen in these human cargo movers hauling preposterous loads. By tweaking the colors and layers of the photos, Delorme gives each image a futuristic cleanness that nags at the eye with its impossibility.
Working the creepiness with greater force however, is his series “Little Dolls.” Disgusted by the presentation of little girls in Western advertisements, Delorme drives his point home through the repetitious series, each photo featuring a little girl, a cake, and the forceful, yet mostly unseen, hand of a controlling parent. In post, Delorme reworked each girl’s face into a garish parody of Barbie doll beauty. Thus, rather than documenting the grime of our society, Delorme’s work tends to remove it, forcing the viewer to become aware of it through its very absence.