Art Life , Exhibitions Nov 16, 2012 No Comments

From Andrew Frost

Jim Kazanjian makes a kind of “hyper-collage” – an advanced form of photoshopped image created by piecing together elements from the artist’s personal library of bits and pieces, some 30,000+ images that coalesce into uneasy monochromatic dreamscapes.

In Kazanjian’s Anomalies at Mils Gallery the artist’s background as a special effects artists for movies and TV reveals itself in the use of startling theatrical compositions. In some works, such as Untitled [Folly] and Untitled [Exterior] the images look as if they might come from a Tim Burton movie, or a Dr. Seuss adaptation – the artist cites HP Lovecraft as an inspiration – and they have a kooky charm. But the more powerful works are the more subtle pieces such as the sci-fi simplicity of Untitled [Bubble] – that pictures an enormous sphere hovering over a harbour – while the almost-real Untitled [Structure] quotes Arnold Böcklin’s Isle of the Dead as a storm water drain.

The most powerful works are those that evoke a sense of the architectural uncanny: Untitled [Backyard] puts a weird a water feature at the end of a house from the same neighbourhood as the gloom-shrouded street in Eraserhead, while Untitled [Façade] is the stand-out work – a crumbling house in a snow field. Where the door should be is rubble-strewn hole that reads like a smashed in skull. It’s easy to be diverted by the showmanship in these images, but it’s that creepy feeling at the back of your neck that makes the real impression.

Until December 9
Mils Gallery, Surry Hills.
Pic: Jim Kazanjian, Untitled (facade), 2010. Digital print on paper, 11×11. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Mils.

Andrew Frost

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