Gabriel Isak is a Swedish photographer who uses digital techniques to create surreal scenes inspired by the inner worlds of dreams and psychology. Recurring through Isak’s images are people isolated against a backdrop of fog and vast emptiness. With their faces obscured by hair, balloons, mesh, or smoke, they become intangible wanderers who symbolize our own unconscious states. There are also repeating images: “birds, [the] ocean, and the fog” — the three things that symbolically compose Isak’s life, as he writes on his Instagram (Source). In their apparent ambiguity, Isak’s dream-like visions evoke a series of shifting experiences and emotions: serenity and mystery, safety and loneliness, hope and despair. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Isak described his creative process:
I have always been fascinated by the psychological world and the many places we encounter in our dreams. Whenever I create an image, I mostly start with some sort of brainstorming, whether it is writing down words, listening to music and drawing down the vision that appears, or a place I dreamt about. I also get very inspired by locations and always try to find interesting but simple sceneries that I can use in my imagery.
Working in a stream-of-consciousness fashion and drawing on the vagueness of dreams, Isak manages to create scenes of vast interpretative potential. Like the visions seen through a dream, there is an atmosphere of darkness and melancholia — his faceless characters, after all, are all donned in black — but the longer you look and the more you read the symbols, a sense of peace arises. Isak writes:
In my work I use photography as a metaphor for experiences of the soul. My objective is to bring common human emotions into my photography, where the viewers can interact with the moods of the images and find a piece of themselves within it.
Isak is currently residing in San Francisco, where he is obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography at the Academy of Art University. Check out his website, Facebook, and Instagram and immerse yourself further in his turbulent-but-still, dark-but-uplifting dreamscapes. (Via Juxtapoz)