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The artist

Launching this collection were giant images by Kodak, in the hall of Grand Central Station in New York, which the firm used at the time to proclaim its photographic omnipotence. Used as advertising tools in the legendary Manhattan train station from 1950 to 1990, the plastered images were transparent and backlit, with exceptional dimensions spanning 18 metres wide by 6 metres high. This was a first in the world of photography. Through their spectacular, almost surrealistic stagings, these panoramas became communication tools in service to the promotion of the brand’s film and cameras. In true soap-opera style, for over 40 years Kodak Colorama Display staged the story of ideal families with exemplary lives, without contradiction or contestation. In other words, the very expression of the post-war American dream, in its most pleasant and universally adoptable form.  ... See more See less

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About the artwork

Naturally, the images of the Colorama collection served above all for the commercial promotion of products of the Kodak firm that we perceive in each presentation. These panoramas refer to the common and classic theme of the passage of time, showcasing the function of the still or movie camera, as a way of capturing and conserving the best moments of a life. However, through their aesthetic and ambition, these monumental formats surpassed the advertising norms and technological prowess of the era. They also tell the story of an ideal American family and produce, in so doing, a deliberately patriotic and conservative discourse on the 1950s and 1960s. In this colourful promotion of the “American Way of Life” that Universal Studios represents, the counter-culture seems non-existent and everything appears pure behind the dazzling colours and frozen smiles of cheerful characters.

Artwork details

Date photograph was taken

17 April 2018

Artwork subject

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Our key artists

JORGE DE LA TORRIENTE

Jorge de la Torriente is an American photographer dedicated to the creation of minimalist and modern images. He has garnered numerous international awards, including the Hasselblad Masters Prize in 2018 for his remarkable aerial photography. Born in Miami in 1971, he began his ar...

MARINA VERNICOS

Greek-born Marina Vernicos is inspired by the heavenly landscapes all around her everyday and pays homage to them through her photography. Born in Athens, she has deep admiration for her native country and notably for the many Greek islands that she captures through impressive ae...

LUDWIG FAVRE

Born in Senlis in 1976, Ludwig Favre now lives and works in Paris. Art history, multimedia and audiovisual studies trained the photographer's eye, sensitive to the reproduction of picturesque landscapes. He has travelled widely, particularly between France and the United States. ...