FAIRY TALES FOR ADULTS

from cubicle to aquarium
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Through my pictures, I invite the viewer to decipher the hidden symbols and interact with the picture to reflect on his reality and personal experience. What seems to be so unreal in the first place could be closer than we expect, to the complexities of our mind.

- LARA ZANKOUL

ZANKOUL’S IMAGES RESONATE WITH THE VIEWER, EVEN IN ALL THEIR SURREALISM, BECAUSE LARA KNOWS TO TREAD THE THIN LINE OF MAKING THEM RELATABLE ALL THE SAME, PULLING HER VIEWER INTO HER ENCHANTED WORLD.

BORN IN LEBANON IN 1987, LARA ZANKOUL GRADUATED FROM THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT WITH A MASTERS IN ECONOMICS.

ZANKOUL’S PRACTICE OF FINE ARTS PHOTOGRAPHY PRIMARILY APPEARED AS A NEED TO ESCAPE THE BINDING LIFE OF THE CUBICLE AND THE CORPORATE LIFE. DRIVEN BY THIS CHANGE OF HEART, SHE TAUGHT HERSELF PHOTOGRAPHY AND STARTED AN ENRICHING JOURNEY IN THE ARTISTIC FIELD. DURING 2009, SHE COMPLETED HER 365 PROJECT, A PERSONAL MISSION IN WHICH SHE COMMITTED ON TAKING A PICTURE EVERY DAY FOR A YEAR.

THIS NEED TO EVADE REALITY WAS TRANSLATED IN HER IMAGERY: HER COMPOSITIONS ARE CONTEMPORARY FAIRY TALES, WHICH EXPLORE THE CHARM AND MYSTERY OF THE HUMAN PSYCHE. WHIMSICAL AND PLAYFUL, THEY PUSH AGAINST THE BOUNDARIES OF OUR REALITY AND ESCAPE THE MONOTONY OF EVERYDAY LIFE.

FOR HER ‘UNSEEN’ SERIES ZANKOUL CONSTRUCTS A ROOM WITH A LARGE WATER TANK WHICH DIVIDES HER SUBJECT INTO TWO ALTERNATE REALITIES, ONE WHICH REPRESENTS THE SUBJECT’S REALITY BELOW THE SURFACE, HIDDEN FROM VIEW AND THE OTHER ABOVE THE WATER WHICH IS WHAT IS PROJECTED AND SHOWCASED TO THE WORLD. ZANKOUL SHOWS THE ETERNAL STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE TWO, A STRUGGLE THAT IS INHERENT IN ALL OF US.

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS ARE ESSENTIALLY ‘TRUE TO LIFE’ AS ZANKOUL DOES NOT EMPLOY ANY DIGITAL MANIPULATION IN HER WORK. THE RESULT BRINGS ABOUT A PARADOX WHICH IS QUIET AND MODEST IN ITS COMPOSITION, WHILE ALL THE MORE POWERFUL IN ITS FANTASTICAL EXECUTION.

With new advances in set design, Lara Zankoul’s wondrous imagination will undoubtedly continue to take form in her ever-growing body of fantastical, surrealist-inspired artworks.