Lise Sarfati’s Fascinating Photos of Women on the Edge

Lise Sarfati sees the world through a cinematic lens. Her saturated photographs of modern women look like Hollywood film stills from the golden era. “I choose people for their energy and aura,” the French photographer told the Guardian in a video interview earlier this year. Whether she’s capturing disillusioned young women in the streets of Los Angeles for her latest On Hollywood series, that was recently on view at Yossi Milo Gallery in New York, or documenting four related women in everyday settings in Oakland, San Francisco, LA, and Phoenix for her series She, which Twin Palms Publishers released as an expansive monograph this past summer, Sarfati constructs visual narratives of the psychological sort.

Young women that were lured to Hollywood by dreams of success now look forlorn, while a family of two youthful sisters, their mother, and her sister strike melancholic poses in mundane surroundings that become ripe with new meaning. Utilizing obsolete Kodachrome 64, the kind of film used for Technicolor movies, the self-taught, Magnum photographer creates a powerful sense of mystery with just a single frame. Click through to see some of our favorite photos from On Hollywood and She.

Lise Sarfati, Vinny Ann, Hollywood & Highland, 2010, from the series On Hollywood. Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York. © Lise Sarfati