Laurent Chehere’s Flying Houses In Paris Suburbs

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Even in his commercial work French photographer Laurent Chehere clearly has a creative and curious eye for his surroundings.  An avid traveler, Chehere enjoys exploring the cities he visits.  This becomes especially evident in his series Flying Houses.  The series contains a number of photographs of floating buildings.  The buildings seem otherwise ordinary, perhaps tethered by power lines, quietly floating in the sky.  Chehere achieved the effect by taking photographs of buildings throughout the suburbs of Paris and digitally manipulating them.  A gallery statement  (translated from French) from a recent solo exhibit explains Chehere’s inspiration for the series:

“The artist isolates buildings from their urban context and frees them from their stifling environment. Houses fly in the clouds, like kites. Inspired by a poetic vision of old Paris and the famous short film The Red Balloon by Albert Lamorisse, Laurent Chéhère walked the districts of Belleville and Ménilmontant gazing at their typical houses. The images of the artist seize an unexpected levitation: held to the ground by unseen hands, like so many balloons used by the boy, these old buildings floating in the sky, sliding on the surface, they reveal to us their hidden beauty. Some houses are adorned with drying laundry or flower pots, outweigh other brands and shops fleeing the flames of a fire … All seem to find a second life. Uprooted from their hometown, they go to new heights. It’s a true invitation to travel and metaphor for the transience of the world, Flying Houses Laurent Chéhère’s series plunges us into a dreamlike and changing world full of gaiety and humor.”

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