This is a series of portraits of children about to attend an imaginary birthday party. Inspired by her daughter’s birthday party Speers imagined what characters might be created if role play were pushed to imaginative extremes. The children are placed in front of the same white wall and gaze into the lens of the camera, performing within a strictly laid out frame. They reveal very little of themselves and yet this is what makes the portraits so magnetic. The childlike game of dressing up, of putting on costumes, reinforces the surreal tone of the series.
The Birthday Party is “anarchistic” in its take on childhood and play, “both improvisatory and highly theatrical... unsentimental but playful, macabre... in a way which is liberating both for us as viewer and perhaps for her subjects too.” Clare Grafik, The Photographers Gallery, London
“There is always a certain tension in my work which draws the viewer into what is hidden beneath the surface. My intention was to show a real side of human nature, to expose a side of childhood that is not care-free or clichéd, and project a range of emotions and definitions which are part of an imperfect world.” Vee Speers
For the past fifteen years Vee Speers has been based in Paris, working in fashion, photojournalism and fine art photography. Widely exhibited throughout Europe, the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Japan and Australia, her work has also been seen in publications including The Sunday Times, Harpers+Queen, GQ, Arena and Esquire.
Hardback, 96 pages
44 colour photographs
330mm x 272mm
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