Lise Sarfati

Lise Sarfati (born 1958) is a French photographer. Her images of cities in Russia and young people in the United States paint a sometimes despondent picture inspired by her own imagination.

Born in Oran, Algeria, Sarfati grew up in Nice, France, graduating in Russian from the Sorbonne in 1979 with a thesis on Russian photography. In 1986, she became the official photographer for the Académie des Beaux Arts. From 1989 to 1998, she lived in Russia, photographing decaying industrial sites and abandoned young people in Moscow, Norilsk and Vorkuta. Her first book, Acta Est, presents 43 of her Russian photographs and explains her imaginative appreciation of deterioration, change and beauty.

In 2003, she photographed solitary young adults in the United States as she travelled through Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana, Oregon, and California. They all appear to lack enthusiasm for action. The works were first presented as The New Life at New York's Yossi Milo Gallery in 2005 and were published as The New Life/La Vie Nouvelle.

Other American projects have included Austin, Texas (2008) and On Hollywood (2010), the latter made with her last rolls of Kodachrome 64 and presented at Yossi Milo in 2012. Miranda Siegel of New York magazine described Sarfati's depictions in this exhibition: "Never demeaning or pathetic, these portraits show resilience and a willingness to give up everything to chase a dream."

She (2012) presented two middle-aged women, the photos exhibited at Brancolini Grimaldi in London the same year.




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