One of the most acclaimed women in photography, Kourtney Roy (b. 1981 in Calgary, Canada) began her career after receiving a degree in Media Studies – specialising in photography – from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. Upon graduating, Kourtney relocated to Paris where she is currently based.
Her work – mainly vintage-styled photography – is heavily inspired by vintage Hollywood cinema. The bright, over-exposed colours give a false sense of security, a reflection on the ‘American dream’ era. Many of photographs feature famous landmarks, such as the Cabazon Dinosaurs in California which were opened to the public in 1975.
Kourtney casts herself as the protagonist in most of her photographs, creating characters and stories for herself to act out. Her most recent work was The Tourist, in which she plays a woman looking for a husband while on holiday. As the photographs depict, finding a man isn’t so simple; the gaudy colours and precisely styled hair, makeup and fake nails hint at the constant pressure to embody an almost fantastical idea of American beauty and lifestyle.
“It’s true that I do enjoy playing with a certain nostalgia in my imagery. There are definite references to ’50s and ’60s culture, but I also allude to other eras such as the ’70s, 80s, and even the ‘90s.” – Kourtney Roy
By Tamsin McLaughlin