Until the Kingdom Comes is an ongoing photography project by the New York-based artist Simen Johan. Currently on view at Yossi Milo, Johan's photos digitally amalgamate images of plants and animals shot "in natural preserves, zoos, farms, museum dioramas or his own studio" (from the show's press release) with new backgrounds often creating tension and/or unsettling scenarios. For instance, a rhinocerous sullenly lies in a sandy, barren landscape; an ice-covered stag is uncomfortably propped against a tree; a palm tree stands uprooted by the edge of the ocean; two flamingoes share an awkward, possibly strangling embrace; and an unfortunate frog hangs limply out of a tropical bird's beak.
Johan's photographs fascinate as they toy with our notions of the natural world, depicting nature and wildlife in surreal or nightmarish scenes, blurring "the boundaries between opposing forces, such as the familiar and the otherworldly, the natural and the artificial, the serene and the eerie." As the artist states, "I depict 'living' as an emotion-fueled experience, engulfed in uncertainty, desire, and illusion." Learn more at Yossimilo.com and see my post on Johan's October 2009 exhibit here. Through December 23rd.