The V&A Photography Centre has unveiled a new photography commission by Valérie Belin. The artist has found inspiration in the V&A’s photographs collection for her new series Reflection, comprised of ten 173 x 130cm pigment prints.
Belin was drawn to the street photography of Eugène Atget, Walker Evans and Lee Friedlander, alongside commercial pictures of shopfront window displays by New York’s Worsinger Window Service and works by graphic designer, Robert Brownjohn. Through this new series, Belin examines the visual vernacular of the street while emphasizing illusionary effects created by layered reflections. Reflection continues her ongoing enquiries into the tension between the real and the imaginary, interrogating stereotypes, while furthering her interest in the visual language of commerce and typography.
Belin revisited the thousands of photographs she’d made of streets and shopfronts in American cities over the last three decades, and used a superimposition process to build up layers of imagery. Drawing on additional visual references from graphic novels, magazines and film noir, the resulting dream-like photographs comprise rich, textural layers, fragmented narratives and dynamic juxtapositions conjuring themes of reflection, depth, representation, artifice and identity – drivers behind Belin’s conceptual approach.
© Victoria & Albert Museum, London