Swedish photographer Kristoffer Axén creates surreal, atmospheric dreamscapes that are ultimately grounded in reality. He photographs real cities, like New York, with efforts to keep the setting anonymous so it reads as an unknown symbol of a Western metropolis. Axén uses both analog and digital photography in his image capturing, though claims the majority of his process takes place in post production, where he manipulates shadows and highlights in a process he likens to painting. Inspired by the mysterious narratives of Michael Borremans’ drawings and directors David Lynch and Béla Tarr for the theatrical, metaphysical qualities of their films, Axén formulates narratives where a single character drifts within a dark, cinematic world that exists somewhere between dreams and reality. Immersed in shadows and dark, desaturated colors, the streets and buildings become surreal and moody figments of imagination.