It’s day 4 of 5 Days of Photography! I’ve chosen another incredible current artist today: Swedish 31-year-old Erik Johansson. With tens of millions of hits on his YouTube videos and exhibitions and clients all over the world, it’s pretty safe to say that Erik is a successful artist. He’s a great example of someone who has turned a hobby into a flourishing career.
Erik Johansson, a young computer engineering student from Sweden, has been taking the blogosphere by storm by producing heavily manipulated photographs which invert aesthetics as we understand them, inspired by MC Escher and surrealist artists. Aged just 25, and due to complete his Masters in Interactive Design in under a month, he has already been bombarded with offers of work following a wave of interest from blogs and design magazines after he published his innovative photographic work on his website. Instead of shying away, as some photographers do, from revealing the intense levels of Photoshop work done on the images he produces, Johansson is proud of the technique he has developed and says it is “somehow different from other kinds of art”. – Independent
Most of the figures which appear in Erik Johansson’s work are himself, his friends or his family.
“I get my inspiration from artists rather than photographers. MC Escher, Dali and Rene Magritte and other old fashioned artists mainly.” – Erik Johansson
Well I think it’s safe to say that Erik has great taste in art!
A dystopian coming-of-age tale that doubles as a paean to the author’s home town. Review by Catherine Taylor – Financial Times
2. Radiance – by Catherynne M Valente
Severin Unck’s father is a famous director of Gothic romances in an alternate 1986 in which talking movies are still a daring innovation due to the patent-hoarding Edison family. Rebelling against her father’s films of passion, intrigue, and spirits from beyond, Severin starts making documentaries, traveling through space and investigating the levitator cults of Neptune and the lawless saloons of Mars. For this is not our solar system, but one drawn from classic science fiction in which all the planets are inhabited and we travel through space on beautiful rockets. Severin is a realist in a fantastic universe. – Macmillan Publishers
The Black Swamp is as inhospitable as it sounds, which carry off several of the children and leave the parents too weak to work – Independent
4. How to Measure a Cow – by Margaret Forster
Margaret Forster’s tale of a woman on the run is quietly compelling – The Sunday Times
5. Small Town Talk – by Barney Hoskyns
How a reclusive Bob Dylan led a rock’n’roll takeover of rural Woodstock in the 1960s – The Sunday Times
6. States of Mind – edited by Anna Faherty
“Why do most of us feel that we are something more than molecules?”, asks Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, in his engaging introduction to this compelling collection drawn from literature, science, philosophy and art ranging back 500 years and tackling the thorny question of what consciousness actually is. “We are made of the same raw materials as bacteria, as earth, as rock, as the great dark nebulae of dust that swim between the stars, as the stars themselves”, writes Haddon, introducing extracts that explore how the sense of being made of something immaterial, too, has long haunted humans. – The Guardian
7. The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict – by Austin Reed
I speak from experience when I say that embarking on a biographical work about Arthur Conan Doyle is a challenge. The principal challenge is how to make your book original. Every biographical work on Doyle will contain material that has appeared elsewhere. What makes new books stand out is how they present what we already know, what new items are presented and how the author interprets what they present. – Doyleockian
9. The Man I Became – by Peter Verhelst
The premise of the book is as bold as it is intriguing: The Man I Became is narrated in the first-person by a gorilla. The inevitably confusion and flood of questions that arise with this statement are mostly all addressed through the 120 pages of the novella, but Verhelst also uses this quasi-absurdist plot to grapple with contemporary social issues. Written in a sparse, succinct literary style that fits snugly in the Peirene canon of stylish but provocative translated fiction, The Man I Became is a book that jolts its reader and forces you to think. – Bookish Ramblings
10. In Flagrante Two – by Chris Killip
Made in the northeast of England between 1973 and 1985, the book showed marginalized communities on the edge of change; seacoal gatherers, fishermen and other working class communities are shown struggling in environments that are expressively harsh. There is the wildness of the Northumberland coastline, driving blizzards brought from Siberia across the ferocious waves of the North Sea, the chimneys and cranes of the region’s industrial landmarks, and the rubble of neighborhoods destroyed in the name of urban development. It’s an unrelentingly gritty backdrop. – Photo-Eye