Alyse Emdur: Prison Landscapes (Paperback)
Four Corners Books, 9780956192868, 192pp.
Publication Date: December 31, 2012
In Prison Landscapes artist Alyse Emdur (born 1983) presents over 100 photographs of prison inmates presenting themselves in front of the idealized landscapes of painted visiting-room backdrops, posing with their visitors and pretending, for a moment, that they are elsewhere. Prison Landscapes explores this little-known genre of painting and portraiture seen only by inmates, visitors and prison employees. Created specifically for escape and self-representation, the paintings of tropical beaches, waterfalls, mountain vistas and cityscapes invite sitters to engage in fantasies of freedom. Prison Landscapes offers viewers a rare opportunity to see America's incarcerated population, not through the usual lens of criminality, but through the eyes of inmates' loved ones. The book includes correspondence with prisoners and an interview with prison artist Darrell Van Mastrigt.