Genevieve Blais’s portraits – Where contemporary and classical coexist.


Genevieve Blais

Genevieve Blais’s wonderfully staged portraits are witty mashups of modern and classical portraiture. The subjects are distinctly modern. They could be regulars directly from the trendiest clubs in town. On the other hand, their costumes would be right at home in a Rembrandt portrait, except that one female subject is topless and in another portrait the subject is sporting a ballgag. It is Genevieve’s unexpected subject matter and excellent execution that caught my eye. I suggest you visit Genevieve’s website to more from this series.

From Genevieve Blais’s website:
Genevieve Blais’ photography deals primarily with the representation of the female body throughout western visual cultural traditions. Her approach stands in stark contrast to the apathetic aesthetic predominant in contemporary photography; she meticulously constructs compositions that borrow from the lexicon of pervasive forms of lens-based medium in order to critique social constructs in the very language they have been created.

Her photographs seduce the viewer through her use of formalistic composition and romantic symbolism. However, through subtle subversions and macabre motifs her work imparts an unsettling reaction, haunting the viewer with the disconcerting dissonance between beauty and horror.

Blais is predominantly influenced by cinema, drawing upon the likes of Hitchcock and Lynch; she uses the vernacular of film to create narratives that transcend the single frame, inviting the viewer to project their imagination. These ambiguous stories are fraught with tension, alluding to latent violence.

She studied photography at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, and currently lives and works in Toronto.

You can see more of Genevieve’s work here.
All photos: © Genevieve Blais. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

After Ingres, 2013

Enflamed Regency, 2013

Sacred Heart, 2013

Gagged, 2013