Clemens Ascher’s alienating perfection

Born in 1983, Clemens Ascher is an Austrian photographer who’s already won a number of awards, including the 2014 Lürzers Archive 200 Best Ad photographers. His original and recognizable style is essential, graphic, abstract, and makes a wise use of color – his images’ true protagonist: saturated, impactful, absolute, sometimes blended into pastel hues, it truly defines spaces and subjects. In the “On Pleasure Grounds” series, Ascher brings life to artificial – albeit often open-air – settings. Walls surround his subjects and contrast with the apparent sense of freedom and emptiness, which you might perceive at first sight. The world becomes claustrophobic, skies seem alienating, exotic animals are like grating details that tourists hypnotized by junk food ignore, as they choose to take photos of themselves in front of unsettling but still missiles instead. Ascher’s calm and detached atmospheres pull us in and push us away at the same time, between abstraction and reduction, seeking for beauty in the total madness of our times, of which “On Pleasure Grounds” is an ideal metaphor.

© Clemens Ascher

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