Photographer Simen Johan At Bell Gallery

simen johan Head over to the Bell Gallery for a new exhibit of some very large and very strange photographs by Norwegian artist Simen Johan. An ongoing series that began in 2006, Until the Kingdom Comes opens here starting with a talk and reception Friday. Join Johan and exhibit curator, Jo-Ann Conklin, for a conversation about the work.

In Until the Kingdom Comes—the ongoing series that he began in 2006—Simen Johan creates a natural world that is, at one and the same time, familiar and uncanny. The images are amusing, sweet, clever, mysterious, foreboding. His oversized photographs depict animals at nearly life size, increasing the sense of verisimilitude and often engendering a sense of awe at the viewer’s “face-to-face” encounter with the animal.

Johan photographs animals in zoos and farms, occasionally employing taxidermy and road kill. Uncanny elements may be captured during shooting—as in his image of a lamb that sits upright like a dog, taken with the aid of a farmer who held the animal in position while the image was shot—or created through the use of Photoshop.

It takes nothing away from this work to know how it’s made. (Great slide show at HuffPo.) Exhibit runs through February 17, 2013.

Free and open to the public, conversation with reception to follow, 5:30pm, Friday, November 16, List Art Center, 64 College Street (directions)

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