Erik Johansson : A Photographer Master Of Illusion

In his dreamlike images, Swedish photographer Erik Johansson imagines surreal worlds. An exhibition currently on display in Paris allows us to discover the astonishing universe of this artist who blurs the boundaries between reality and fantasy.

A photographer with a surrealist universe

Have you ever seen the photographs of Erik Johansson? This Swedish artist is known for his surreal photographs, composed using different techniques. In fact, he uses drawing, digital retouching and photography.

Erik Johansson started designing his images in 2007, trying to figure out how far he could twist reality without losing the impression of realism.

His stunning compositions, not unlike the drawings of Dutch cartoonist M.C. Escher, take us into a dreamlike world between day and night, reality and fantasy, waking and unconscious.

Already at the La Gacilly photo festival in 2021, this artist had seduced the public with his visual tricks.

In his images, we don't know where reality ends (the real shot) and where the dream begins (the retouching straight out of the artist's imagination, added to the original photo in post-production).

An unclassifiable artist

Erik Johansson is a photographer but not only that! His images are complex stagings that place the observer in front of real visual enigmas.

Sometimes playful and sometimes more serious, these creations are often related to the environment. The artist's dreamlike universe shows us what our planet could be if we preserved it.

Even when dealing with serious issues, the artist's approach is not devoid of humor and naivety, so much so that he seems to take a child's eye view of the world.

In his compositions, he does not completely deny reality but twists and metamorphoses it in the service of an idea or a story. His work is intended to arouse childlike and spontaneous emotions in the viewer.

He explains, 'For me, creating an image means creating a place. A place that, at first glance, seems familiar but yet has a particularity that provokes a reaction in the viewer. I want to create pictures that force the viewer to stop for a few seconds to understand where the trick is.'

Through his post-production techniques and tricks, this artist brings to life alternative realities where environmental awareness is often the issue.

An exhibition at the Swedish Institute in Paris

If you want to know more about the singular world of photographer Erik Johansson, you should know that the Swedish Institute in Paris is exhibiting a series of his photos until April 24, 2022.

This exhibition entitled Les Idées Viennent La Nuit highlights some twenty dreamlike and poetic photographs where the border between reality and dream blurs.

It will also allow you to see the artist's preparatory sketches and videos. You will be able to go behind the scenes of the creation and discover the making of these breathtaking images.

In this day and age where all visual effects could be done on a computer, Erik Johansson continues to physically create all the elements of his sets. He uses the computer only as a tool for composition and finishing.

The videos and sketches featured in the exhibition provide insight into his entire work process.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Erik Johansson
Tags: photographer, Instagram, Paris, Post-production, computer, retouching, Swedish, surreal, digital, naivety, eye, metamorphoses, alternative realities, environmental awareness, singular, Swedish Institute, visual effects, planet, illusion, Surrealist, Photography, realism, Dutch, cartoonist, Escher, fantasy, La Gacilly, unconscious,
More informations:
In French: Erik Johansson : un photographe maître de l'illusion
En español: Erik Johansson: un fotógrafo que es un maestro de la ilusión
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