Atlanta Rascher studied fine art in Dublin at the National College of Art and Design and creates work that defies simple categorization, moving freely between art and fashion photography. She has worked with fashion scene icons including Polly Mellen or Alasdair McLellan for labels like Gucci and Burberry, as well as with fine-art photographers such as Daniel Josefsohn or Andreas Gursky. In Spiders and Girls, the influences of both worlds are also merged in unconventional ways.
The spider—an insect capable of triggering strong reactions, such as fear, disgust, but also fascination—functions as a leitmotif throughout the book, reinforcing the ambivalent atmosphere of the images, which are characterized by uncertainty but also by sensuality and a zest for life.
Spiders and Girls also summons this theme through the repeated presence of architect Le Corbusier’s Modulor. Le Corbusier created the Modulor as a means for expressing ideal human proportions, following in the tradition of the Roman architect Vitruvius, as well as Leonardo da Vinci’s famous, anatomically perfect man.
The art director and designer of the artist’s publication is Olu Odukoya of the London design studio OMO Creates.
Spiders and Girls features a selection of portraits of young women, as well as isolated interiors and architectural images. The photographs are presented together with hand-drawn sketches by Atlanta Rascher in a collage-like dialogue. The young women are sensitively and attentively portrayed in unassuming poses. Created are intimate scenes that capture for the viewer the fragility and sensitivity, as well as the strength and youthful yearnings of the protagonists.
Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, one of the first major building projects realized under Adolf Hitler, and Le Corbusier’s avant-garde apartment complex in Berlin’s Westend district, built some twenty years later, provide exciting backdrops for Rascher’s photographs. The feminine bodies of those portrayed reveal their vulnerability and contrast with the brute statues of the athletes of the stadium, designed as propaganda.
This approach also plays a central role in fashion photography—one that Atlanta Rascher deliberately seeks to abandon with her images in Spiders and Girls. As she wrote in the margins of a discussion on the book project: “Perfection is admirable. Imperfection lovable.”