Superman has the Fortress of Solitude, Batman has the Batcave. Obviously, even superheroes need some space and alone time. When the writers drew up these characters, they also had to humanize them by giving them some kind of escape where they could be by themselves. French photographer Benoit Lapray‘s imagined series, The Quest for the Absolute, Portraits of Superheroes builds on that premise. The collection shows images of famous superheroes alone with their thoughts while in tranquil environments.
Lapray writes, “Perhaps they are quite simply on a quest to find themselves?” Characters from both Marvel and DC comics can be seen deep in thought, caught during pensive moments, seemingly contemplating their lives, or perhaps just finding the time to recharge. No less than Captain America, Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Flash are among the many super heroes that look to be immersed in contemplation.
Lapray studied journalistic communication, art and photography. He also won the 2007 UPC Découverte prize in France for his architecture shots. The poignant The Quest for the Absolute, Portraits of Superheroes allows viewers to connect with these super heroes. They are depicted seemingly in need of even a brief respite despite being endowed with superhuman powers. It is thought-provoking imagery that Lapray is able to shoot, reminding all of us that everyone must give some pause to whatever he or she may be doing.
On the technical side, Lapray digitally imports each hero into the dramatic natural landscapes. There is a meditative quality to the collection of portraits as we see each figure immersed in quiet solitude. One can see them flying over a tranquil lake, gazing out into the ocean, resting on a grassy hill or enjoying the quiet of an empty road. What Lapray is able to achieve is a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at heroes as they enjoy a few moments of much deserved isolation and rest.
See the imaginative series here.