Art & Photography / AnOther Happy Monday

Photographing Prosthetic Body Parts Like Luxury Products

What happens when you capture a hyperreal silicon leg with all the glamour of a luxury handbag? Mirka Laura Severa’s new series investigates

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Still Life© Mirka Laura Severa

It's something of a paradox to describe an image as being both real and surreal, but in the case of Mirka Laura Severa’s photography it couldn't be more apt. Her latest series, entitled Still Life, is all about prosthetic body parts, and it is born of a fascination with her father’s work. “I always looked through his medical books with illustrations of the body, functions of the body,” Severa writes. “I’m fascinated by prosthetics, that they’re kind of a replacement or repairing tool for a body part.” By taking these “hyperreal” prosthetics and placing them in an entirely unexpected context, Severa forces her viewer to fully take in their absurdity.

And absurd these images certainly are. The series is a visual feast – where else, we wonder, would you see two silicon breasts floating separately like islands, with cubes of ice perched atop them just so? Severa cites her rich experience of working in set design and advertising for luxury brands as the inspiration for the series, in which she “started to really think about the meaning of luxury, and what I’m creating with these kinds of images: desire”. Thus, the series “plays with the codes that are used in advertising imagery; codes like sex, beauty, glamour”. Severa’s photographs are playful in their irreverence, and whether or not they have you pondering our society’s culture of perpetuating desire in advertising, they are nothing short of a joy to look at.

Happy Monday! #AnOtherHappyMonday