art, photography

Until the Kingdom Comes – Simen Johan

New work from Simen Johan’s ongoing series of photographs and sculptures, Until the Kingdom Comes, which he began 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, shot in various U.S. 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 beautiful and the eerie, the known and the unknown. These dynamic tensions reflect internal conflicts and contradictions inherent to human nature that fuel Johan’s work.

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