Interdisciplinary artist Lara Zankoul (@larazankoul) is based in Beirut, Lebanon.
Photography is my escape. I do it because I love it. Its been hard to work in 2020, with all the lock downs, but I do have some projects in mind, and I’m hoping to execute them soon!
Her work captures everyday human behavior and issues that occur within society through photographic media. Her aim is to invite the viewers to come up with their own interpretation and understanding of the photographs and the stories behind them. Her signature work not only stands out in its conceptual identity, but also in its timelessness.
At first glance you might think that her images are Photoshopped, but in fact she rarely uses photomontages. She pushes the boundaries of photographic surrealism with her custom built life-size sets. Strictly through the use of her camera and with no digital manipulation, Lara creates dreamlike images in which water is used to depict the contrasting surreal and real life moments, of the characters she photographs.
As a self-taught photographer, Zankoul’s work is heavily based on experimentation and other world building within her photographs, in order to create and craft imagined scenes, rather than just documenting them.
She says of her photographs with models wearing pig’s heads: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”
A proclamation by the pigs who control the government of Animal Farm, by George Orwell. This sentence is a comment on the hypocrisy of governments that proclaim the absolute equality of their citizens, but give power and privileges to a small elite.
Lara has been featured in a number of exhibitions: locally, in group and solo exhibitions in Ayyam Gallery and Art Lounge, Beirut. On an international scale, she has been showcased in the Guy Hepner Gallery in New York and HEIST Gallery in London.