Image rights: © Simen Johan, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York
About Simen Johan
In his lush photographs, Simen Johan blends artificiality and naturalism, creating compositions intended to portray our experience of the world as a paradoxical combination of fabrication and direct observation. As he explains: “I strive to create tension and confuse the boundaries between opposing forces, such as beauty and brutality…or the familiar and the otherworldly, the natural and the artificial, the amusing and the eerie. I often feel like I am attempting to reconcile the irreconcilable as I explore the paradoxical nature of existence.” Merging traditional techniques with digital manipulation, Johan constructs complex photographic worlds that look like uncanny versions of our own. In “Until the Kingdom Comes” (begun 2011), he inserts previously photographed plants and animals into landscapes stitched together from images of natural vistas—a vision of nature, seen through our desires and delusions.
Norwegian, b. 1973, Kirkenes, Norway, based in New York, New York