I was more or less a novice on Instagram two years ago, and I can still remember that jaw-dropping feeling when I came across @lumenaire’s account: a guy was sitting as a king on a purple sofa, with a girl lying on another sofa in the background, with her legs artfully saying “Hi!”. Viewing the scene and its elegant composition, the gorgeous staging and the vibrant colours– I was in awe.
I’ll never get over this place.
Instagram is full of users taking shots of their kids, so why is her work so different and impressive?
The answer is in how powerful her characters are; when framed they stop being her children and their friends, and become something important to the observer. Through a superb editing process she turns them into icons of youth: they are there, but far away. Not common human beings, but rather, deities living in another dimension.
I don’t want to hold her down, don’t want to break her crown.
What she does is this: she takes something strictly personal, and gives us rather a timeless sense of youth’s myth. The power of this period of life explodes in her images, through vibrant colours and their bodies’ sensual details.
I’ll be waiting in my trunk, with the engine of your car.
There are many ways of looking at her work, depending on the observer’s eyes. Adolescents may feel a sense of pride and identification. If the observer is a parent, then tenderness, or perhaps a nostalgic sense of the lost golden era of youth for those who are young no longer.
Van Gogh’s favourite swimming hole
Going back to that initial purple sofa, and to the shameless beauty of the scene, I remember the feeling of being a dwarf facing a giant. It wasn’t just an aesthetic result due to a cascade of colours, as compared to my first steps in the black and white world of photography. It was the deep emotion the images conveyed as these shots give us a joyful sensation of the eternity of our dreams.
Right before you forgot about me
There ain’t no other language I know how to speak
Some like their water shallow and I like mine deep so very deep
Tied to the bottom with a noose around my feet …
- Since her childhood Valeria has been a storyteller: She used to invent musicals for puppets. Her parents would tease her as they perceived she magnified reality. What she liked was not to hide the truth but rather, to give more drama or beauty to the ordinary facts of her life. She wasn’t particularly fond of photography until October of 2013, when she created an account @_soulkitchen_ on Instagram, starting a diary of images. She is a contemplative, not interested in representing reality, but rather memories, desires, and the core of feminine beauty. If something captures her attention, or if she has an idea about, a story to tell, she immediately thinks of how to shift it from her imagination to an image.