Jim Kazanjian’s surreal landscapes offer phantasmagoric visions of a where-is-this world, defined by impossibly complex architecture and M.C.Escher-esque black-and-white graphics. Inspired by the imaginary realms of cult author H.P. Lovecraft – whose wild, cosmic short stories set the mold for much of the 20th century’s best science fiction – Kazanjian’s aim is to redress the “misunderstanding that photography has a kind of built-in objectivity to defamiliarize the familiar.
It is our trust in photography’s inherent connection with naturalism, then, that makes the deliberate verisimilitude of his works so intriguingly disorienting. And the delightful confusion doesn’t end there: Even the question of whether Kazanjian’s art is photography at all is open to debate, given that he doesn’t shoot any of his own pictures, but rather manipulates “assemblages” of found photographs.
Jim Kazanjian received his MFA from the Art Center College of Design in 1992. He worked professionally for nearly 20 years as a commercial CGI artist in television and game production before starting his own freelance business in 2010. Various clients he has worked with include: Nike, Adidas, NBC, CBS, HBO, NASA, HP, Intel and others. Most recently he was the art director for the computer game developer Logic Factory in Portland, Oregon. Jim’s manipulated composite images have been featured in publications such as: Art China, Advanced Photoshop, Photo Argus, The Atlantic, Good Magazine, Juxtapose, Esquire Russia, Domino Magazine, Gizmodo and many others. Jim’s work was featured in a solo show here at 23 Sandy Gallery in 2009.
Jim Kazanjian: website