If the thought of flying houses conjures up images of Dorothy, Toto, and ruby slippers in the wake of that famous Kansas tornado, then you’re in good company—but the wonderful Wizard of Oz has nothing on French photographer Laurent Chehere.
Known for his work for such high profile clients as Nike and Audi, Chehere swapped his commercial cap for that of world traveler, gathering inspiration from the beauty of Japan, Bolivia, Argentina, and more. But for all of his globe-trotting, it was the photographer’s journeys through the popular districts of Paris that gave way to an extraordinary series titled “Flying Houses”—a whimsical collection of homes, tents, trailers, and cottages that are seemingly suspended in mid-air.
By capturing as many possible angles in good light, Chehere later was able to break the structures out of anonymity and inject them into an intriguing story of flight—with a little help from Photoshop. And while the artist attributes his inspiration to the short film The Red Balloon (shot in Ménilmontant in 1956 by Albert Lamorisse) and to Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle, I’m still standing by the theory that these floating houses would find a perfect home in The Emerald City. After all, both are perfect material for a fantastical dream.
Which of Chehere’s photographs are your favorites? What other objects would take on new life if made to look permanently airborne? Share your thoughts in the comments.