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Lord of Illusions

When a magician performs an amazing trick for an audience, the first question that often springs to its lips is “How did he do that?” For Miami-born photographer Christiaan López-Miró, that curiosity was what initially propelled him to make magicians the subjects of his work.

López-Miró has long been fascinated with what he calls the “beautiful art of deception.” But he doesn’t photograph his subjects onstage. Instead, he captures them in the moments between the action – in a dressing room, at a card table, or in an empty theater. In doing so, his new exhibition, “Smoke and Mirrors,” manages to raise far more intriguing questions about the character of the performers themselves. “Without an audience, the aura becomes something different, something more isolated,” he says. “There’s something to them that’s very psychological, very intense and confrontational. The glamour is completely removed.” To shoot the project, López-Miró flew to the Magic Castle in Los Angeles – a sort of “Country Club” for magicians deep in the Hollywood Hills. He had first visited the grounds with his father at the age of 13 and had immediately fallen in love with the mystery and lore surrounding the place. “It’s this incredible inner sanctum where magicians come to divulge secrets,” he says. “After my first visit, I wanted to become a member.” During his trip, López-Miró did finally become a member, and even hosted his first exhibition of “Smoke and Mirrors” on the grounds. Now he plans on continuing the series with shoots in Las Vegas and magic conventions across the U.S., and hopes to publish a book soon. Until then, you can join López-Miró for the opening reception of “Smoke and Mirrors” at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (1650 Harrison St., Hollywood) this Friday at 6 p.m. Admission costs $6. Call 954-921-3274.
Fri., Oct. 19, 2007

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