© 2011 Larissa James Studio.

© 2011 Larissa James Studio.

Beach Combers  (Bassin d’Arcachon, la Dune du Pilat, France, 2001) is a series of photographs that create an illusionistic space in which tourists wander and drift aimlessly around the largest sand dune in Europe. Although geographically located on the southwestern coast of France, reality is depicted as an abstracted, universal space. These beach tourists, looking for a pleasurable and common experience, escaping their natural environment, and finding relief, want a distraction from the mundane qualities of life. The work focuses on the human body’s interaction with landscape, abstracting the physical and visual spaces it usually inhabits and also the human psyche’s desire to transport oneself to an altered reality.

LA Girl Skaters (2006) is a photo-journalistic assignment documenting Los Angeles girl skaters in Shepard Fairey’s 6th St. downtown loft. Eden Batki and I photographed this series for GLU Magazine.

© 2011 Larissa James Studio.

Edie’s Bus (2009) investigates a non-traditional lifestyle. The particular community of artists that I belong to and photograph has rejected the conventional and expected mode of living. Similar to the subjects of the Beach Combers (2001) series, we too are looking for something other than the norm and have constructed a social alternative space.

© 2011 Larissa James Studio.

© 2011 Larissa James Studio.

© 2011 Larissa James Studio.

Detroit, Michigan, USA (2009) depicts decaying walls, ceilings, floors, collapsing structure and ruins of the Packard Plant, an abandoned car manufacturing plant, and the neighborhood surrounding the plant. Photographs are abstracted from a book that I made, which includes historical photos of the city race riots, Packard car advertisements, WWII war propaganda, and a recent online news article about the city’s failure to collect property taxes on the Packard Plant. Comments by Detroit citizens about the online news article address racial tension, race riots, economic collapse, and corrupt politics.

My first MFA solo show at Calarts, titled “Investment Process” (2011), is a multi-media installation that includes photographs, video projections, and sculpture. The work explores how culture constructs pleasure through industry and production. “Investment Process” addresses issues of commodity, commerce, and a societal desire to posses and collect objects.

Fata Morgana (2002-2011) is a collection of photographs that have been taken in disparate environments where spatial relation is distorted by the medium. The surface quality and indexical mark of the photograph is highlighted. The compositions are either flooded with light, which flares to expose the luminescent, metallic surface of the photographic paper, or lacking in light and shadowed in a dark, impenetrable void. Surfaces of slick reflections reveal parallel worlds and patterned, tangled textures. The work blurs the lines of reality and fantasy.

Ouroboros (2009-2012) is a photographic series which spans four years time and many locations: Los Angeles, CA, New York City, NY, Virginia, Berlin, Germany, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and Dubai, UAE. The series consists of photojournalistic documentation of my observations, travels, work, celebration, friends, and family.