Artist Lea Jessen sees the extraordinary in the ordinary, capturing it in images characterized by sharp composition and a refined sense of colour.
Her works often focus on details whose original contexts are not always readily revealed. With their focus on clean lines and abstract colour planes, these anonymous architectural fragments take on a minimalist aesthetic, making them reminiscent of the concrete art of the 1940s and 50s.
However the strict, concrete abstraction is countered by the small irregularities, cracks and dents that are revealed upon closer scrutiny, which have the effect of breaking the rigidity of the lines and surfaces. These subtle marks of decay, along with the soft hues of the images, infuse them with a certain melancholic beauty.
This is clearly felt in a work such as Steps, depicting a pool staircase descending into azure water. Apart from producing a dazzlingly lit architectural pattern, it also evokes both the leisurely connotations of the pool and the faded glamour of a bygone era.
A similar sense of loss and longing is also – albeit in a different sense – contained in Jessen’s urban and suburban scenery from Syria. Often shot at night, the places seem at once inhabited and deserted. The locations might be foreign, but the haunting feeling is profoundly familiar.
Lea Jessen (b.1978) lives and works in Copenhagen.She was educated at the School of Photography Copenhagen in 2004, and has worked with the photographic medium since 1997.