Sarfati’s photographs in Austin Texas portray women in staged settings, inside and outdoors, lit softly but not with any warmth – instead the light is cool and we sense the photographer’s eye studying her subjects at a remove. The palette of Sarfati’s images is like faded 50s pastels, or the pallid green haze of supermarket aisles. Or sometimes! – like in the image of ‘Christy’ in this book, the girl is dressed all in dense black, part Parisian temptress, part goth, part punk, drinking Coke and smoking a cigarette, whilst the background is an opaque white.
Austin Texas is a collection of product shots that look like outtakes from a slow nightmare – they suggest the melancholy of consumerist desire, the eroticism of Guy Bourdin is, now, faded.. As Chet Baker said ‘The thrill is gone’..
Sarfati exhibited this series at Grimaldi Gavin in 2009, when the gallery suggested: ‘The photographs question the intricacies of female identity’. Read more here.
published by Magnum Photos in Paris in 2008..
available from Claire de Rouen books