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Eyes in Focus: A Photographic Exhibition Curated by La Prairie

The Swiss luxury skincare maison La Prairie has announced a collaboration with the emerging Swiss artists Daniela Droz, Namsa Leuba, and Senta Simond—all graduates of the Lausanne University of Art and Design (ECAL). Debuting at the 2019 edition of Art Basel, the exhibition “Eyes in Focus” explores the beauty, mystery, and enduring timelessness of the gaze, resulting in the creation of three photographic installations that celebrate the launch of La Prairie’s latest Skin Caviar innovation.

“We are very excited to partner with Daniela, Namsa, and Senta. Their pioneering works are in perfect harmony with La Prairie’s heritage of audacity. As Swiss artists, their refined, minimal approach is completely in line with that of La Prairie’s aesthetic,” said Greg Prodromides, chief marketing officer of La Prairie. Through the new work by Droz, Leuba, and Simond, the exhibition demonstrates the power and intimate vantage point contained within the female gaze, inviting onlookers to experience each artist’s personal perspective.

In Simond’s series, she chose to execute a close-up portrait series of young women from her surroundings, reflecting her usual intimate approach to the female body. Natural, authentic, and unaltered, the photographs on view invite the audience to follow the beauty of each subject’s gaze and their different emotional states. “There is the ‘male gaze,’ which we tend to associate with objectification, and the ‘female gaze,’ which is usually linked with introspection. I hope with these works, that viewers are able to find some affinity with ‘my gaze,’” said the artist.

Droz is known for using her art to explore metaphysical questions about the relationship between one’s inner self and the outer world. Her works—a series of three abstract photographs—ask the viewer to become part of the pieces themselves. By transposing her works onto reflective surfaces, Droz employs the reality that lies between shadow and light, turning the viewer’s gaze back upon herself so she can experience a new point of view within it. “I would like the viewer to take ownership of it, to experience it by looking at the image, like I had the privilege of experiencing when I created it,” she said.

For her series, the Swiss-Guinean photographer Leuba approached the expression of time through the image of the viewer’s own impression of it. By pairing black-and-white portraits with colorful frames, Leuba illustrates the nature of our hidden emotions and the veil we use to cover them. The duality created by the contrast between the color and black-and-white elements not only pays tribute to her bicultural heritage, but also juxtaposes the lived-in moment with the viewer’s own experiences and memories. “I wanted to show the notion of time passing. As well as the experience shared between the photographer, the model and the spectator,” said Leuba.

“In making the deliberate choice to work with female artists, we also pay homage to the inimitable quality of the female gaze, interpreted by the perspective of women themselves. These artists break the codes of their chosen medium, just as La Prairie continues to break the codes of luxury skincare with unexpected creations,” said Prodromides. This unique exhibition was conceived as a reflection of La Prairie’s newest innovation, Skin Caviar Eye Lift.

On view at the La Prairie Pavilion in the <b>Collectors Lounge</b>, “Eyes in Focus” will be open to Art Basel attendees June 13–16.

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Minjung Kim

THE SPRING ARTIST ISSUE
2023

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