Simen says laugh. Simen says cry. Simen says live. Simen Johan says meet Fifi, my pet Llama.
Simen Johan is a photographer as well as an observationist. In his latest exhibit, Until the Kingdom, animals are portrayed as having more humanistic qualities than we usually see in them on a day to day basis. Some of these animals are photographed on farms, others at zoos, and a few are taxidermied. Now, when I think of a taxidermist I think of hunters or Norman Bates from “Psycho.” Johan is far from a diluted murder, however, and instead creates a different beauty.
This Norwegian-born artist takes real life photographs, however technology and a few other tools are necessary to get the end effect. Hair gel is used to create tears on foxes and long, flowing hair extensions are added to an otherwise menacing wolf. In smudging the line between reality and fantasy, Johan forces us to discern the unpredictability in life.
In a Big magazine interview, Johan said, “We pursue what we desire and escape what we fear. We look for truth, but when it is undesirable, we disguise it with desirable lies.” His artwork is the epitome of this quote. See for yourself.