Jim Kazanjian

A smoking tower on the beach in black and white by Jim Kazanjian.

An artist that aims to occupy a space where ‘the mundane intersects the strange, and the familiar becomes alien’, we’re fascinated by the work of Jim Kazanjian. Using digitally manipulated composites built from photographs he finds online, Jim builds what would be considered ‘hyper-collages’, piecing together each individual image via Photoshop. Manipulating and assembling a disparate array of photographic elements, sometimes more than fifty in one composite image, the end product is a surreal blend of reality and imagination. He is not a photographer in the traditional sense of the word, as Jim never uses a camera at any stage of the process, his method of construction an improvised process, wading through archives constantly and always searching for new and interesting relationships and combinations. However in the very fact that he works only with photographs, creating an image from a series to create a new image entirely, one could argue that Jim is of a new age of photography. One where Photoshop means anything can be possible, but where the same eye for light and composition that has always been required is still utmost.

In fact, Jim confesses he chose photography as a medium because of the cultural misunderstanding that it has a sort of built-in objectivity. Looking to ‘set up a visual tension within the work, to make it resonate and lure the viewer further inside’, his current series is inspired by the classic horror literature of H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood and similar authors.


A large house on top of a waterfall in black and white by Jim Kazanjian.

A smoking ball of wooden planks on the beach in black and white by Jim Kazanjian.

A large house on stilts on the beach in black and white by Jim Kazanjian.

Words by Olivia Cooley. Images courtesy of Jim Kazanjian.

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert