Loretta Lux (b. 1969; Dresden, Germany) creates scenarios of isolation and distance that occur in an ambiguous time and space, with a focus on the interaction between characters and the merest suggestion of narrative. Known for her hauntingly surreal, dream-like portraits, Lux's photographs feature young children digitally altered to resemble the aristocratic stiffness and formality of Old Master paintings. Rendered in low contrast against uncanny, pastel backdrops, her works also reference commercial photography tropes and the kitsch imagery of advertising.
The artist executes her compositions using a combination of photography, painting and digital manipulation, favoring simple backgrounds over the more elaborate backdrops that characterized her earlier work. Trained as a painter at the Munich Academy and influenced by Old Masters such as Goya, Bronzino, Runge, and Velasquez, Lux works the entire surface of the photographic image in the computer over the course of many weeks. Props and vintage costumes are carefully selected, as are her subjects, to achieve the uniquely vintage and otherworldly feel her images exude.
Work by Loretta Lux has been exhibited extensively across the United States and Europe, including solo exhibitions at the Fotomuseum den Haag, The Netherlands, and the Sixth Moscow Photobiennale. Her work is included in numerous international collections, including those of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Photo Museum Munich, Germany; and Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland. In 2005, the artist received the Infinity Award for Art from the International Center of Photography. Loretta Lux currently lives and works in Monaco.