Simen Johan’s nature photography is majestic and enchanting, and right now it’s helping me to remember the beauty and magic of Mother Nature. Black Men are being hunted down like prey in the streets of America by racist police, but the way humans have set up this system doesn’t reflect the natural world we all come from. While looking at these photos, I’m daydreaming about a world without racism of any kind, where human unity reigns supreme!
The images of Simen Johan speak to me because of their perfection, showing us the animal kingdom in a supernatural brilliance. Yet nothing we are shown feels particularly unrealistic, it’s just the idealized depiction of everyday scenes from a world that will always remain a mystery to us, the ordinary splendor of the more-than-human world.
My own approach to image-making is focused on expressiveness, and I’m never much concerned with how real an image is, as I see everything as a construction.
Until the Kingdom Comes refers less to the kingdoms of the bible and natural world, and more to the human fantasy that one day, in some way, life will come to a blissful resolution. The answers to who we are and what we’re doing in this world, will come to light and validate our existence. In a reality where understanding is never total, I depict ‘living’ as an emotion-driven experience, engulfed in uncertainty, desire and illusion.