For self-taught photographer Andrea Koporova, what you see isn’t necessarily what you get. In her work, deserted landscapes are bathed in a warm, saturated glow and minimalist compositions complement the occasional female figure.
With her electrifying depictions of isolation, the Austrian-based, Slovakian artist pulls us into alternate realities as she reflects on the modern contradictions of loneliness in the face of an increasingly connected world.
She first picked up a camera in 2010 and hasn’t put it down since. “Like a lot of my colleagues, I’ve been experimenting with various photographic styles but I like to focus most on the human form. The majority of my work is done outside, where I try to capture the beauty and the feelings of a particular moment.”
When I go to shoot, I have a plan for the concept, the location, the costumes and the styling, but the rest is all improvised.
Andrea leaves much of her process to chance. “When I go to shoot, I have a plan for the concept, the location, the costumes and the styling,” she says. “But the rest is all improvised.” She works with natural light and applies filters in post-production to create disorienting worlds where skies are unnaturally turquoise and tennis courts radiate a bright orange light.
In the series Ghost Town, for example, we follow a lone subject as she explores an abandoned universe. While we recognize the locations in the images as tennis courts, public swimming pools and stairways, Andrea has stripped them of their original function of accommodating social activities. Instead, a single female figure is positioned in the center of the composition, staring out in the distance, alone. In Underwater, the girl is even more abstracted, blending into the ripples of the water and the tiles of the swimming pool floor.
Playing with these visual contrasts, Ghost Town depicts the solitude that exists in our hyper-connected world today. “I want to show how people are influenced by this new technological age; many people feel isolated and depressed. In my work, I depict these contradictions by using saturated colors to represent this sad reality. The abandoned places, empty terrains and ruins are filled with color.”
Though uncomfortable in their loneliness, Andrea creates images that are pleasant to look at, and which awaken a sense of optimism. Maybe the future isn’t so bleak after all. Welcome to an electric world.