Erik Östensson

Posted by Fabio 14 February 2020

The Swedish photographer Erik Östensson is known for his surrealistic, deceptively simple, and unique pictorial compositions. His poetically performative images reveal an emotional interplay in the depiction of the interaction between people, objects, and landscapes. Everything appears to be interconnected in harmonious coexistence, whereby new relationships in materials and form develop. Östensson encourages the viewer to discard learned habits of seeing and to look with the eyes of a child, who has only just begun to discover the world. Past notions are superseded, and the meaning of known objects expanded.

“To catch the viewers’ attention despite the fact that my photos are depicting everyday objects, I have photographed them in new contexts and from new angels. Hopefully past notions are replaced and the meaning of familiar objects get an opportunity to expand. In this way a new contact can be created between the objects and the viewer.

The photographs are made with an analog large-format camera. I use negatives that are 4×5 inches in size (10×13 cm). This type of camera makes the photographic process time consuming. First, I measure the light with the handheld light meter. I then crawl in behind the black cloth to compose and focus with a magnifier against the glass plate showing the upside-down image. Often, I only make one or two exposures. I see the result when the negatives have been developed, which often happens months after they have been exposed. This old technique has helped me to stop and look carefully.”_Erik Östensson