After graduating with a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1992, Norwegian-born artist, Simen Johan, began creating photographs that question the line between reality and fantasy.
Currently living and working in New York City, he is known for early projects such as Room to Play and Evidence of Things Unseen; however, possibly his most notable body of work is Until the Kingdom Comes. In this series, Johan uses both traditional and digital photographic methods. Taking separate images of taxidermied animals and dramatic locations, he oftentimes pieces hundreds of shots together in order to create a single final image. The photographs are tense and unsettling, yet reveal no concrete conclusion, and leave the viewer only to imagine their own.
Johan says his choice of title “refers less to religious or natural kingdoms and more to the human fantasy that one day, in some way, life will come to a blissful resolution….In a reality where understanding is not finite and in all probability never will be, I depict ‘living’ as an emotion-fueled experience, engulfed in uncertainty, desire and illusion.”