Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Erik Hansen's photos of brilliance and wonder

As the crowd was thinning out and leaving the opening reception of Ballad of Life, I noticed a lone gentleman studying my photos. Naveed, our curator, asked me to speak to him and so I went over and introduced myself. We got to talking about photography and our own goals and ideals in the medium. Turns out, we had a lot in common. We exchanged cards and I promised I'd take a look at his work.

You gotta check this guy's work out.

I-Scape 12 "The Wolf Grows Up in the Woods" by Erik Hansen

It's really stunning. He creates these landscapes that seem to capture time and space with a masterful control of light and composition. However, this technical description betrays the actual aesthetic of his work. His compositions evoke something within me, a sense of wonder and curiosity. I feel like I'm looking at how children or Zen monks view the world.

Erik calls his artwork "I-Scapes". Says Erik:
I-Scapes (IMAGINARY TIMESCAPES) represent mysterious places and states of mind that exist somewhere beyond the ordinary conscious world. Humans, animals, or their spirits may have recently passed within their borders.
This might be one of the reasons why Erik and I have a similar aesthetic appreciation. It's clear to me that we have a similar need to express some of these concepts in our work.

He also does a lot of prep work for his photos. Keep in mind, none of his photos are digitally altered.
I sculpt pieces and paint props and backgrounds. I also gather and reassemble found objects. The hands-on, tactile part of the process is particularly satisfying.
I couldn't agree more. While I have nothing against working in Photoshop to alter and manipulate images, it is my opinion that there is something special about being able to create the world you are trying to capture in the camera frame itself. It's a great sense of accomplishment, and it does translate to your audience.

Photo © Erik Hansen

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