Margeaux Walter: Photographing Generic People

Capitalist societies have one very strong contradiction that is seldomly addressed through visual art: when individualism is the highest priority, why do we all consume the same products? Photographer Margeaux Walter has given us some food for thought in her photography as she attempts to illustrate how consumerism has taken our originality. Ikea is a subject in her work because it illustrates how we have lost our personal taste in exchange for convenience and cheap price tags.  “I chose Ikea because it is a huge furnishing company that most people are familiar with. The furniture is recognizable across many countries, races, classes of people, and it is a representation of consumer culture.”

Walter used this idea in various forms, starting from making a short video using exclusively Ikea furniture and sketches that depicted people who were blending into the furniture whilst on their laptops. “My initial concept was to create an image where the characters would completely blend into the domestic space furnished by Ikea, giving more of an identity to the furniture than the figures,” she says.

Her exciting and heavily patterned images leave you feeling dizzy and questioning whether we are using our products or if the relationship is reversed. Perfectly curated imagery stimulates the viewer, yet leaves them stale, another paradox to ponder while exploring Walter’s intelligent photography.

“My characters are more stand-ins for generic people,” she said. “I’m never replicating them as personalities.”

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