jim kazanjian: composite photographs
jim kazanjian: composite photographs jim kazanjian: composite photographs
nov 19, 2010

jim kazanjian: composite photographs

‘untitled_house’ (2006) all images courtesy jim kazanjian

portland artist jim kazanjian‘s body of work consists of crisply composed digital images that explore the surrealist side of space and architecture. drawing from literary influences such as h.p. lovecraft and algernon blackwood, kazanjian’s pictorials illustrate a fantasy-driven world that seemingly celebrates relics and decay. having worked as a commercial CGI artist for television, fashion, and game production, his method of creating largely involves recomposing a number of photographs in bits and pieces.

‘untitled_implosion’ (2008)

portland art critic chas bowie comments, ‘kazanjian’s aberrations occupy a state of material transience: none of the images qualify as photographs, yet each piece is entirely photographic. built upon the persuasive testimonies of hundreds of anonymous snapshots and photo-documents, kazanjian’s landscapes are entirely fictitious constructions. the photographs of aberrations serve as souvenirs of non-existent places and events, even though their genetic codes are comprised solely of specific, exacting details of evidence.’

‘untitled_lowtide’ (2009)

bowie continues, ‘by recomposing photographs (rather than shooting them), kazanjian liberates himself from the fastidious burdens of representation, although he remains tethered enough to exploit photography’s knack for maintaining its own honesty despite a track record that repeatedly suggests otherwise. in kazanjian’s hands, this freedom from naturalistic vision gives way to an uncanny space that is familiar but foreign—a fantasy both wild and gloomy.’

‘untitled_folly’ (2010)

‘untitled_anomaly’ (2008)

‘untitled_exterior’ (2010)

‘untitled_outpost’ (2008)

‘untitled_fortification’ (2008)

‘untitled_facade’ (2010)

‘untitled_structure’ (2007)

‘untitled_maze’ (2008)

‘untitled_bubble’ (2008)

  • reminds me of jerry uelsmann. of course, he did it in a darkroom without photoshop…

    jonah says:
  • I like these,
    I always liked Jerry N. Uelsmann’s work,
    Also check out Thomas Barbey…

    Free Form Constructural Realism says:
  • easy rip-off of jnu

    carl says:
  • Awesome. Haters gonna hate.

    Kev says:
  • jonah’s comment is dead on

    brap brap says:
  • Yes, he owes a lot to Uelsmann but Uelsmann owed a lot to Oscar Rejlander and Henry Peach Robinson. That’s the way the world works.

    Kevin H. says:
  • I love the shot from Mt. Tam!

    Alex Davis says:
  • postapocalyptic?

    peen says:
  • How about “American Dream 2010”?

    Noel says:
  • amazing work.

    vrouyr joubanian says:

    ZIG says:
  • Yeah and so cavemen ate without a knife and a fork, does this somehow imply they were better at eating than you?
    I think this stuff looks fantastic regardless of whom it’s informed by, at least he’s producing

    Playpunk says:
  • amazing it is,very inspiring.

    ed m says:
  • Love it!!!

    RONY says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
492,117 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample