Jim Kazanjian is the kind of artist that will amaze you through innovation and technique. He has a unique style of combining images into new architectural styles that are simply mindblowing.
The details and time dedicated to this are certainly paying off. Jim was kind enough to answer a few question for us in an exclusive interview.
Let’s see what he has to say and admire some of his creations!
Q: Hello Jim, and welcome to Pxleyes community. Please tell us a few words about yourself.
Hi. I was born in Los Angeles in 1968 and have worked in broadcast design and game production since 1992. I currently live in Portland, Oregon.
Q: Your art looks very unfamiliar and unique. What exactly does your it represent? Does it have a message behind it?
I am interested in how an image can have the potential to unfold and suggest something outside of itself. By this I mean something beyond the obvious and only discovered through a continued process of viewing. It is this act of “looking” that I find fascinating because it does not follow a linear progression like language but is interactive and random.
I’ve focused on photography as a medium because of the cultural misunderstanding that it has a kind of built-in objectivity. This allows me to set up a visual tension within my work, to make it resonate and lure the viewer further inside. My current body of work is inspired in large part by the literature of H.P. Lovecraft and other “weird” fiction writers.
I am intrigued with the narrative archetypes they utilize to de-familiarize the familiar. I like to use those devices as a foundation to build upon and generate entry points for my images.
Q: Do you have any special projects going on?
At the moment, I am building new work for a show in Portland later this year.
Q: What kind of materials/software and gear do you use?
My images are digitally manipulated composites made from photographs I find online. Currently, I have an archive of over 26 thousand high resolution photographs. The number of found photos I use to make a piece can vary from 12 to 30. On a couple of my more complex images I’ve used over 50. I generally sample sections from photographs I find interesting and then use them as building blocks.
I assemble these “blocks” together in Photoshop to create a nonexistent space that mimics a photograph. I do not use a camera at any stage in the process.
Q: Do you plan in advance what to create or right on the spot, when you see an image?
Generally I prefer to work in a kind of organic way. I start with a vague idea and then let the pieces inform my editing process. Some things fit together well and others do not. It is very similar to solving a puzzle except it gets more difficult as I progress, instead of easier.
Most of the time, if I pre-conceptualize the work too heavily, it becomes more of a compromise and a forced effort. I prefer the process to be one of discovery because the final result is always more interesting.
Q: A little piece of advice for the newbies just starting out in this field?
Focus on what interests you because that is what you will excel at.