Photographer shines light, fantasy on bleak city spaces

Image from Alleys and Ruins, nuez.com/alleys
October 2, 2012 4:20:53 PM PDT
The New York Times calls Xavier Nuez's photography a masterpiece.

The Chicagoan's series Alleys and Ruins features abandoned locations in cities across the country.

"I am just grateful I can do this for a living," Nuez said. "I am shinning color lights on a scene trying to create a fairytale or fantasy version of these places which are very bleak and depressing and I try to make them fantastical and beautiful."

Nuez uses a 50-year-old film camera.

Places in Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles are included in Nuez's work on display at the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery, located in the Thompson Center. He's made capturing the perfect shot in sometimes dangerous place his career.

Nuez also focuses on insects in his work.

"In all my work, I try to find things that have been rejected. I take these creatures we step on and build them up to this absurd status where they are super heroes," he said.

Nuez's exhibit at the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery opens on Friday, October 5.

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