Until the Kingdom Comes.
Photographs by Simen Johan.
Yossi Milo Gallery, 2014. 64 pp., 26 color and 2 black & white illustrations, 12½x15½".
Simen Johan's ongoing series of photographs and sculptures, Until the Kingdom Comes, begun in 2005, depicts a natural world that is at once familiar and otherworldly. Most (but not all) of the images are intricate digital constructs incorporating elements the artist photographed in various geographical locations. Towering giraffes, captured in various US zoos, populate a hazy, desolate landscape created from images taken in Turkey, Bali and Iceland; spectacular Javan peacocks from Asia are camouflaged within a Spanish pepper tree; and the interior of an Icelandic volcano forms the setting for a gooey tar pit where Peruvian yellow-hooded blackbirds nest. Each image confuses the boundaries between opposing forces such as the natural and the artificial, the serene and the eerie, the primal and the mindful. These dynamic tensions reflect the internal conflicts and contradictions inherent to human nature that fuel Johan's work. Only a limited quantity of this oversize, unbound volume is available.
Read the review by Sarah Bradley