Photographs by Johan Willner.
Hatje Cantz, 2012. 80 pp., 35 color illustrations, 11¾x9¾".
Johan Willner (*1971 in Stockholm) makes it difficult to tell to what degree his black-and-white and color photographs are renditions of real or staged events. Inspired by music, literature, and philosophy, the artist discovers mysterious motifs in front of the backdrops provided by nature or the city, beaches or hospitals. This publication presents the series Boy Stories, which is based on images from his own memory and which Willner has been pursuing since 2006—not to reconstruct the details of past events but with the intention of creating a universally valid manifestation of existential questions. The slightly faded colors, often in complimentary hues of green and red on a lighter background, lend the photographs a fascinating aesthetic that belies their dramatic depths while at the same time creating an interesting contrast to the subjects, such as the fragility of the child within the man.
Read John Mathews' review of Boy Stories on photo-eye Blog.