Eerily realistic virtual landscapes inspired by Grand Theft Auto V, exquisitely reproduced in duotone printing
All the images in this work derive from wallpapers and screenshots taken by different users while playing Grand Theft Auto V —a videogame set in Los Santos, an “open world” scenario that closely resembles Los Angels and its surroundings. Thus, the city of the Studios, of Hollywood and film industry, becomes itself a staged set and a virtual replica, a duplicate of its original.
This work explores whether is it possible to photograph a virtual place, what it means to do so, and the question of authorship. It is also intended as a tribute to a long series of great photographers who worked in Los Angeles widely throughout the second half of the past century. With their own perspectives, these artists all contributed to the creation of an image of a city that is still vivid and lasting - one that is mimicked, simulated, and photographed in this project.
"Leafing through West of Here, the beautiful photographic book by Leonardo Magrelli just released for the American Yoffy Press - an elegant volume right from the color chosen for the cover (a Cool Gray 5 C Pantone that Martin Margiela would love) - one has like the impression of knowing what you are seeing and experiencing at that precise moment, but in reality that landscape with houses, cars, palm trees, beaches, lights and so on, shows that nothing is as it seems." - Huffington Post
"Is it possible to photograph such a virtual place? And what does it mean to do it? Lorenzo's series therefore questions these questions that have already been faced by many artists and that continue to fascinate even contemporary thinkers and artists, trying to answer with his personal vision and interpretation of this false city.” - OSSO Magazine
"Is it possible to photograph a virtual place? And if so, could it be defined as landscape photography? If you are skeptical about the subject, Leonardo Magrelli's project will make you change your mind. If instead you were already convinced, you will find further confirmation in the shots of West of Here. " - Collater.al