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Gehry + Gaudi + Escher + Goldberg = the Land of Kazanjianstan

February 12th, 2013 No Comments

Jim Kazanjian is one of an extremely rare breed in the photographic world: he is a photographic artist without being a photographer, for he “creates eerie landscapes without use of camera,” according to Daily Mail.  One look at the images in question and you’ll know that the Mail’s story title hits the nail right on the head as it calls Kazanjian “a mad architect” who creates “surreal images” “from another world.”  

Our weekly roundup of unusual photography news is on our sister blog this time; however, perhaps today’s post here is just as unusual . . .

Kazanjian’s Brave New Worlds (plural) – the one he has created and his Brave New World of Photographic Art merit an examination not just for their novelty but for their genuine quality and artistry.

As for the range of works, it spans the gamut from Near-Realism to Bizarro-World.  Cannot this little islet be the remains of a vandalized Roman-Era ruin?  Anyhow, this indescribable thingie is surely Bizarro-World incarnate!  Yet both are as appealing to the eye in their artistic quality as is this composite castle-manor-mill which might – just perhaps – actually exist.  (And if it doesn’t someone should really build it.)  

In truth, Kazanjian’s range is even wider: it ranges from realism all the way to Sci-Fi.

Kazanjian’s explosions too are so finely rendered that they could be stills from a Hollywood movie – notice the plumes of smoke and how palpable they are.  Also observe how realistic the ruined and burned material is at the base of the structure – yet with a trace of a dreamlike otherworldliness.  All this probably both implies and reflects the fact that Kazanjian puts together each image from unknown numbers of actual photographs and he has been a commercial CGI artist and worked for the likes of Intel and Adidas.

Welcome, then, to the magical Land of Kazanjianstan:– This is where the architectural brilliance of Frank Gehry, the creative whimsicality of Antonio Gaudi, the surreal unbelievability of M.C. Escher, and the madcap impossibility Rube Goldberg – with a dash of your dreams – intersect!


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