Instincts, fear, beasts

I have been unable to post here due to health problems in the family. Luckily, things have improved and I can write a bit.

As everybody knows, animals fascinate me. Although I don’t necessarily feel comfortable when artists use them in their work, I must say that it does widen my eyes and almost always gets me thinking – something I’m constantly looking for in the arts (well, elsewhere too).

No wonder the work from Norwegian artist Simen Johan instantly spoke to me:

Not only are animals often the subject of his photography but also he uses Nordic beasts and scenery to translate his dark, dream-like/nightmarish visions into pictures.

What is it about animals that strikes us so deeply? Is it possibly that we are so afraid of living according to our instincts in search of a so-called civilized, sanitary world?

Just as dreams help us see beyond our normal lives, animals can serve as a subtle recollection of our worldly predispositions and that thought in itself is frightening.

Or mesmerizing.

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