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The Faded Pastels and Geometric Glamour of Ward Roberts’s Courts Series

If you’re familiar with the work of photographer Ward Roberts, chances are you found his work, like we did, on Pinterest. After all, the New York–based photographer’s images were practically made for social media, featuring as they do the aesthetic memes du jour: muted, pastel colors; graphic, geometric compositions; and architectural wonders seemingly devoid of any people. In Roberts’s case, the backdrop common to all of his photos are the basketball and tennis courts of Hong Kong, where the Australian-born photographer was raised from the age of three. There, the beauty of the courts is juxtaposed with symmetrical or endlessly repeating architectural elements — windows on a skyscraper, lines on protective fencing, dog-legged staircases. Roberts just released his second book devoted to the subject through Éditions Edizioni, and in this one we began to notice the cracks in the seemingly perfect compositions: the laundry lines, the scuffed courts, and the cartoon-like window dressing of what appears to be a Hong Kong nursery school on the ground floor of one residential building. We’re excerpting a few of our favorite photos from the new book today; also be sure to check out the best images from volume one, which are now available as archival prints from Uprise Art.

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