Louviere + Vanessa

The camera has often been described as a sort of mechanical extension of the artist’s body. Or, as critic Paul Rosenfeld once described it, “a machine in perfect obedience to the human spirit.” Throughout the 20th century, and into the 21st, photography has experienced steady and relatively rapid growth as a serious art form. Because of its late recognition as an art form, as compared to painting or sculpture, and its wide accessibility as a mechanical, and nowadays digital, process, some may prescribe photography as a ‘safer’ art, both in terms of production and interpretation. But photography, by its very nature, has occurred completely out of artists’ ingenious and technical sensibilities, and as such, is the only art form that is completely open to a vast range of experimentation.

 

The New Orleans-based duo of Jeff Louviere and Vanessa Brown are photographers by means of their affection for the medium and their penchant for being so scientifically creative. They succeed in reintroducing photography. Known dually as Louviere+Vanessa, these artists employ experimental techniques that recall a more intimate and less synthetic past. Their daring burst beyond the current zeitgeist of digitization shakes us from the complacency of a crisp reality and invites us back into a more intriguing and softer side of a dream, often relief and sometimes horror. Amid an age where pixels construct our windows out to the world, Louviere+Vanessa want to revisit that exploratory and surreal look inward toward a dream-state originally penetrated by those innovative photographers from the early 20th century. Artists like Man Ray, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eugéne Atget, André Kertész, and George Brassa. 

 

from Louviere+Vanessa by Adam Justice, Curator, Polk Museum of Art - first published in CultaVitae, for the exhibition "Coincidence" March 2013 at the Polk Museum Lakeland, FL