The Flying Houses: Fine art photographs that explore the poverty of a Parisian suburb

in Inspiration / Photography

The Flying Houses is a series by French fine art photographer Laurent Chéhère, inspired by Menilmontant – a poor and cosmopolitan neighbourhood of Paris where he lives. Each image poetically and subtly tells the story of a "contemporary reality by revealing concerns of a class impoverished by society".

Laurent isolates these buildings of their urban context and releases them from the street to the sky, to tell the stories, dreams and the hopes of these inhabitants. Technically, it’s a photomontage, hundreds of elements are photographed and assembled as a puzzle. From afar, houses look carefree. On closer inspection, details reveal a more complex story.

Inspired by Hayao Miyazaki, Albert Robida, Moebius, Wim Wenders, Federico Fellini and William Klein, Laurent questions diverse subjects, such as immigration, poverty, gypsies, cinema, architecture, politics, music, pop culture and history, and aims to tell a different story, against any preconceived ideas.

If you're intrigued by Laurent's work, you can see The Flying Houses on display at FORMAT, the UK's largest photography festival which this year explores the theme of "habitat". Launching at various venues around Derby from 24 March, and running until 23 April 2017. More details can be found at formatfestival.com.

All images courtesy of FORMAT | Main image: Circus © Laurent Chéhère

Great Illusion © Laurent Chéhère

Great Illusion © Laurent Chéhère

Great Illusion (Detail) © Laurent Chéhère

Great Illusion (Detail) © Laurent Chéhère

Le Petit Journal © Laurent Chéhère

Le Petit Journal © Laurent Chéhère

Le Petit Journal (Detail) © Laurent Chéhère

Le Petit Journal (Detail) © Laurent Chéhère

Max © Laurent Chéhère

Max © Laurent Chéhère

Max (Detail) © Laurent Chéhère

Max (Detail) © Laurent Chéhère

Pink © Laurent Chéhère

Pink © Laurent Chéhère

Pink (Detail) © Laurent Chéhère

Pink (Detail) © Laurent Chéhère

Red © Laurent Chéhère

Red © Laurent Chéhère

Red (Detail) © Laurent Chéhère

Red (Detail) © Laurent Chéhère

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