Bethany de Forest CityLights #06

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Pinhole photograph by Bethany de Forest,
50 x 50 cm
Mounted on disband, top with liquid gloss

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Bethany de Forest's objective is to show a “realistic” and slight absurdist imaginary world, in which one can supposedly wander around. Creating the illusion that what we see is life-size, an actual place we can visit.

She photographs with a pinhole camera, a box without a lens or diaphragm, just a small round hole the size of the tip of a pin. Combined with her models, the effect is amazing. These miniature worlds seem almost lifelike, and there’s always a twist, which is what makes De Forest’s work so fascinating.

It’s like being in Alice’s Wonderland, surrounded by lifesize insects and giant flowers. Look closer and you’ll discover all kinds of surprises: pollard willows made of rhubarb stalks, sugar cubes masquerading as marble blocks, and raw ham as marbled stone in a cathedral with stained-meat windows. De Forest optically manipulates these materials by adjusting the light and the angle. At the same time the world she creates in her landscapes, cities and palaces seems kind of natural. Butterflies flutter about, cars race past, not to mention the more bizarre scenes. The absurd situations and the profusion of visual imagery entices you deep into De Forest’s world and tempts you to explore ever further.

Bethany's photos are too surreal and fantastic to be real. 

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