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23 February 2011

Social Commentary Through Juxtaposition

via Sociological Images by Lisa Wade on 2/21/11

Jordan G. sent in a link to work by photographer Mark Laita.   Laita, after long working in advertising, decided that he was tired of producing images that were “nice”:

I felt the need to produce something that was raw and real, as life truly is, not just what we aspire to. The more shocking to our sense of what’s “right,” the better.

He decided to do so through contrast.   In his new photo series, he tries to get us to think by provocatively pairing portraits. They tell us stories about social class, consumption, social sacrifice, and standards of beauty.

Woman in Bar vs. Gold Prospector:

Marine vs. War Veteran:

Company President vs. Janitor:

Fur Trapper vs. Woman with Dog:

Homeless Man vs. Real Estate Developer:

Lingerie Model vs. Woman in Girdle:

Reader Stephanie B., however, wasn’t so charmed by Laita’s work. She felt like he was being controversial without being thoughtful, objecting specifically to this juxtaposition:

Abortionist vs. Garbageman:

Via BoingBoing and Turnstyle.

(View original at

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