From the series I.E.D War in Afghanistan and Iraq

David Levintahl is a photographer that works mostly with large format Polaroid photography focusing on American culture.  His images are created with dramatic lighting allowing for the toys and figures he uses to create a realistic scene.  He constructs all of the scenes himself using materials such as cardboard, shoe boxes and foam core.  He has said that the use of toys and figures, for him, are signifiers of cultural myths.  Because the images are constructed to appear real, he is pushing simply copying documentary photography into a different reality, making it more playful and creating an artificial interpretation of the world.  His work began with Hitler Moves East with the use of the boyhood figurines and toys.  As his style and subjects changed as he matured, he began using more adult figurines, such as female figurines, to produce erotic work commenting on a different aspect of American culture.  However, more recently, he has returned to the use of boyhood figures in his body of work I.E.D War in Afghanistan and Iraq which is commenting on the Iraq war, and the images are much darker, and more dramatic lighting was used than in Hitler Moves East.


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