The Surreal Architecture Of Jim Kazanjian

Jim Kazanjian’s surreal architecture images are a dreamlike scene that teeterings on turning into a nightmare at any moment. The dark dreamy mood and beautiful decay of crumbling elements allows the viewer to peek into a darker scene of a fictitious location. The hyper realism of the photographs was perplexing and I assumed that the images were shot and pieced together, little did I know that Kazanjian doesn't use a camera for his creations. Finding images isn't a difficult task for Jim anymore. He has been building his database since 2005 and today his collection holds close to 30,000 images.

“I am basically manipulating and assembling a disparate array of multiple photographic elements (sometimes more than 50) to produce a single homogenized image. My images are digitally manipulated composites built from photographs I find online. The technique I use could be considered "hyper-collage. I cobble together pieces from photos I find interesting and feed them into Photoshop. My method of construction has an improvisational and random quality to it, since it is largely driven by the source material I have available. I wade through my archive constantly and search for interesting combinations and relationships.”

Based out of Portland, Oregon, Kazanjian has spent the past 18 years as a commercial CGI artist in television and video game design. Kazanjian’s major influences for his work can be found through some of his favorite books. “My current series is inspired by the classic horror literature of H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood and similar authors. I am intrigued with the narrative archetypes these writers utilize to transform the commonplace into something sinister and foreboding.”

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Photos of Jim Kazanjian’s have been used with his permission.

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Marc Holmes's picture

I used to do this kind of work in film and games. People in the biz are making all kinds of environments for big budget things you're playing or watching. Sci Fi cities, military crap, fantasy castles, natural environments of all sorts. Creativity in pre-vis is getting out competed by google image. Who needs to take new photos? Just scrape the net and remix. Remix, Reuse, ship it.

Mgdingo's picture

this blew my mind. 

Mark Huerta's picture

Reminiscent of the work of Jerry Uelsmann. Except for the fact that Uelsmann is a photographer and his work was all done with negatives in the darkroom. Pre Photoshop.

RUSS's picture

such talent!!! I AM SO ENVIOUS!!
nice stuff

Spy Black's picture

So does he sell or make money some how from other people's work? How many of the images may be copyrighted? I do like what he's done visually, but does one not concern oneself anymore with these things? When ever I do composite work with images other than my own, I always look for creative commons or public domain stuff. This makes it much more difficult to find ideal imagery, but I'm not stepping on anyone's toes.