September 2012


World, 2009

By Alex Leme

For many years, while my friends were playing out in the streets, I spent my time in the public library near my house. For reasons known only by my heart, I felt comfortable and safe, as if I belonged there. Perhaps it was the mystery and bewitching diversity that had seduced my soul. The ghosts of countless individuals, of distinct minds and varied thoughts, dwelt peacefully together under the same ceiling – in one world. The long, winding corridors of endless books were fascinating worlds with new paths of infinite knowledge for me to discover. This labyrinth of passageways lined with crammed bookshelves seemed the perfect place in which to lose oneself. Conceived within the geometric spaces, the distinctive shapes, patterns, colors and perspectives beckoned my imagination. Literary Ghosts is a photo essay depicting the elusive and poetic qualities of libraries. My hope is to provide an investigation into the beauty and magic of these timeless institutions. As the great American author Ray Bradbury once recalled: “my childhood would have been very different without the books in the public library near my home. I would have gotten through, but I would have been a whole lot lonelier.”




Alex Leme is a Brazilian born photographer and art historian who resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. His work has been exhibited widely in the United States, Brazil, France, England, China, and Malaysia. Venues have included the Huit Galleries in Arles, France; the China House in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia; the Hous Project and the Skylight Gallery in New York; the Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle,Washington; the Kopeikin Gallery in West Hollywood, California; and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition to numerous private collections, Alex’s photographs can be found in prestigious public collections including the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, France; the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, Louisiana; and the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach, Florida. In 2010, he was awarded En Foco’s New Works Fellowship in New York for his ongoing project about disappearing small towns in the United States. More recently, Alex was recognized by the Oxford American magazine as one of the “100 New Superstars of Southern Art.” Whenever he is not on the road documenting American small towns, Alex can be found dividing his time between his art historical studies and working as the art editor for Equinoxl iterary and art journal.