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Inside the Surreal World of Reine Paradis

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Reine Paradis is an LA based artist who plays with the relationship between the real world and the world she creates.  Describing her unique photography style as ‘Paradis style’, Reine poses herself as the central figure in her works of neon.  From envisioning every detail to creating the scene in real life, this young visionary’s meticulous process is a recipe to capture exactly what she pictured in her mind. The ‘Queen of Paradis’ herself gave us an inside look to creating her surreal world. 

Peacock

Why did you choose yourself as the central subject for your art?

“The fact that I stage myself in my work adds a performance dimension, which is essential. It is a necessity for me to ‘live’ the scene in order to transmit the original vision completely.”

What is the significance behind the colors you use?

“I have always been drawn to intense colors. I use the blue for the natural elements such as the sky, water or the grass and I use the orange or the yellow for everything that belongs to the world I create that interacts with the real world: sculptures, costumes etc.”

Elefanto

You say each scene is an adventure and story in and of itself. Is there a particular scene’s adventure/story you like most?

“I traveled across the US to shoot my latest series ‘Midnight.’ Some of the locations I was looking for were not easily accessible. For example, the ‘Billboard’ scene was shot on top of an actual billboard on the side of a very busy road in California. It was really risky and intense to climb on top of it to install the whole scene and even more difficult to get the shot just right… All without getting caught.”

Bilboard

What is the process for creating one of your works?

“For each scene, the process is the same: First I imagine a scene, then I create a maquette that I use as a reference throughout the whole process. I design the props, costumes and origamis and finally I shoot the scene in a real location. In post-production, I mainly retouch the saturation of the blue.”

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

“I just started to work on my new series which I will shoot next year and have begun writing a feature film. I also have a two exhibitions coming up. One is in Miami in October and the second is in Paris in November.”

Where do you draw inspiration from?

“All my projects question reality, so I think everything that surrounds me is a source of inspiration. I am very inspired by colors, the lighting in California and the locations. Almost all the concepts for my images emerge from at least one of the three.”

“Through art we can explore ourselves, connect and grow which I believe are the main purposes of life.”

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

“To always face my fears”