Simen Johan is an artist and photographer born in the frigid north of Norway, he creates his own personal vision of life in his strange and slightly creepy photos. If you ask me, there’s something about the cold that changes the way you look at the world. Like those super sinister photos of Iceland by RAX or the whole black metal scene in Norway. Johan’s chosen style of imagery seems to capture frozen vibes even when his subjects are in the tropics. I’m not quite sure why?
Johan was an early adopter of mixing digital with still photography to achieve an immense and dreamlike quality. His earlier work was more abstract but as of 2005 he found himself gravitating towards the natural world. His series called Until The Kingdom Comes is epic in the truest sense of the word. The pictures themselves are physically huge and the subject matter is engrossing.
His sculpting skills, taxidermy, photography and imagination have brought these slightly disturbing images to life. When interviewed by Proof Johan said this about his work:
Some of my work emulates traditional nature photography, and there’s some intended irony in that. But there’s also sincerity, because I really do enjoy making beautiful images of nature. Beauty alone, though, doesn’t echo my experience of the world, which is more complex and multilayered, so in my versions of “nature photography” I also incorporate darker qualities.
Although they have a solid dreamlike quality, in a way, it’s easy to believe some of the following scenes are real; Johan likes people to make that mistake:
It happens, and I like when it does, because it affirms how deceptive perception is. Reality is an illusion. Meaning is pliable. That being said, I hope there’s an experience to be had beyond the relevance of whether my work is real or not.
Take a look at his breathtaking work over the following slides. Click arrows to skip through Johan’s creepy wonderland: