Imagine finding Maxfield Parrish working as postman in an Appalachian
village—then imagine he’s married to a woman so gentle she can catch
and hold hummingbirds in her bare hands. Fred and Lara Ellis are an
artistic team as unlikely as this. They create homemade surrealism,
photographic provocation planned and executed with million dollar
imaginations and a five-dollar bill.
Johnson, Poet and Teacher
Fred and Lara Ellis are a husband and wife team who live and work in the
Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Virginia. They create individual pieces
of art while working collaboratively in some way on every project. Their
work has been exhibited throughout northern Virginia and parts of the
Mid-Atlantic region and has been featured numerous times in literary
erotica journal, The Divine Animal.
Fred and Lara's work is infused with light and shadow, with myth, fairy
tales and a deep reverence for the natural world. While the subject
matter is at times distinctively surrealistic the style is consistently
down-to-earth, accessible and human. Their elegant use of imagery
evokes nuances of Maxfield Parrish, Michael Parks, Dali, Botticelli and
the Pre-Raphaelites. Archetypal figures
reach out to the viewer from the surface of the paper; in one picture a
lithe woman wears a white mask as she arches against the surf on an
eastern shore, in another a woman dances wildly across the hot sands of
Fred and Lara are storytellers and visionaries who explore the beauty of
the human form with skill and a practiced grace. Fred has been refining
his art for more than thirty years while Lara is newer to the form
(although one would never gather that she is anything less than a
veteran from viewing her work). Fred and Lara's grace and power are a
breath of fresh air into the typically stale arena of fine art nudes.
The viewer's eye will be seduced back time and time again to seek out
the subtler details of each deceptively simple photograph.