Erik Johansson disrupts the quiet stillness of life in the countryside with images of idyllic scenes gone awry. His photography borders on photo illustration, as Johansson takes great liberties with his imaginative editing. In one piece called Land Fall, for instance, a field drops off into an abyss like a waterfall, leaving a small cottage on its precipice. In other works, Johansson muddles the distinction between indoors and outdoors, creating optical illusions that play with our understanding of space. In addition to working on his personal projects, Johansson is a commercial photographer and the highly-polished look of his commissioned work comes through in his fine art.
Australian artist Alexia Sinclair looked to the 18th-century French royal court for inspiration for her latest photo series, “Rococo,” currently on view at Black Eye Gallery in Darlinghurst, Australia. For the series, Sinclair created opulent images that evoke the pleasure-seeking ways of Marie Antoinette and her ilk. Models lounge on beds that Sinclair constructed by hand from fresh flowers. They luxuriate in elaborate fabrics that seem to melt off their bodies. There’s certainly an erotic element in the work as Sinclair plays with the conservative, high femme costumes of the era, juxtaposing ruffles and lace with exposed skin.
Daniel Ramos Obregón’s work combines sculpture and fashion design to create unusual accoutrements. The artist’s latest series of wearable porcelain pieces, “Outrospection,” visualizes the idea of out-of-body experiences with life-size sculptures of body parts that project from their wearer’s anatomy. Obregón collaborated with dancer Lukasz Przytarski, who modeled the pieces, and photographer Jorge Perez Ortiz on a minimalist photo shoot that shows his work in action.
Young photographer Kevin Welsh explores the dark turns the mind can take with his recent body of work, which focuses on the theme of delusion. In his latest pieces, Welsh turns still photographs into hypnotizing GIFs filled with dizzying patterns meant to illustrate obsessions spinning out of control. “In isolation, the mind can move and believe many different things. Delusions manifest and become inescapable,” wrote Welsh in an email to Hi-Fructose. “The removal of the figure is to show the idea of a person and to try to find understanding in delusion. Repeat patterns are seemingly never ending and are used to display the reaffirmation in our minds of the delusions we face.” Welsh is currently completing his degree in printmaking at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and we look forward to seeing how his work develops.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Detroit-based photographer Elise Mesner humorously reminds us of this middle school health class adage with her upbeat, whimsical work. Mesner works as a fashion photographer by day while also dabbling in collage, painting, illustration, and costume design. Her experience with various media lends itself to her photo work, in which she builds highly stylized, custom props using household materials and processed foods. Through Mesner’s pastel color palette and eye for geometric designs, McDonald’s wrappers, bananas, and white bread become alluring art objects with many possibilities to explore.
Lebanese photographer Lara Zankoul’s fairytale-esque series “The Unseen” looks like it could have been the result of some clever PhotoShop, but in reality the artist created her imaginative, underwater scenes by inviting models to submerge themselves in a human-scale fish tank. Outfitted like a retro domestic interior, the glass box provided a nostalgic setting for Zankoul to stage cheeky scenarios of subaquatic home life. A process video reveals her models climbing into the tank from a ladder in their pristine formalwear. The resulting photographs allow viewers to suspend disbelief and immerse themselves in Zankoul’s whimsical narratives.