An Icy Becoming
What does a powerfully depicted natural scene do to the human soul? It cracks open a place perhaps hidden, or unknown.
As a genre, romantic landscapes speak to our ideas about the sublime in nature, evoking the quasi-religious power of the outdoors. Epitomized in the work of artists like the 19th century German painter Caspar David Friedrich, who said of this own relationship with nature: The painter should paint not only what he has in front of him, but also what he sees inside himself. (Friedrich)
We also see this depth of approach in the work of modernist and contemporary photographers. For example, natural landscape is a dominant force in Danish photographer Kim Høltermand’s work, the artist’s aesthetic relationship marked by what he calls the “cold north.” Kim’s aesthetic resonates with this idea of landscape’s power of transformation: “I want my viewer too feel alone with my structures or landscapes walking around in a post apocalyptic world devoid of people.”
Rosa: Please tell me more about your style and artistic vision?
Kim: It’s a dark and melancholic style, the concept of being lonely in a unpopulated desolate place is important to me.
What is your technique and process?
Kim: I mostly shoot with my Sony A7 and a 50 mm SMC Pentax f/1.7 lens or my Fuji X100 – after that I work with my RAW files in Adobe Photoshop CC + VSCO Film. Even though I shoot digital I am drawn to the original film format – there is something unique and beautiful about it that I really love. Digital can get too cold and perfect. Maybe that’s also why I have recently gone the opposite way and bought myself a used Canon AE-1 film camera – and I have even considering moving into medium or large format cameras.
Rosa: Do you admire any particular artists or creatives, contemporary or historic?
Kim: There are lots – I have always had my inspiration from a huge amount of places but not just in the fields of photography. Graphic design, fine arts, music etc. Especially music is a huge source of inspiration for me. I owe almost everything to the American two-member ambient/post-rock band from Nashville, Tennessee: HAMMOCK. If you close your eyes and listen to their music it’s almost like walking into one of my photographs. More recently, I have been very into epic photographers like Ezra Stoller and Balthazar Korab.
Rosa: Have you always been creative?
Kim: Always, at a very early age I started drawing and I have also worked as a freelance graphic designer for some years. I think creatively all the time. Photography, painting, drawing, but also film making. I have always wanted to do movies – especially Sci-fi. In 2011, I was lucky enough to go to Iceland along with a creative team and crew for the documentary film Outliers, Vol. 1: Iceland. Produced by Scenic Studio TV, this collaborative project documents a group of artists who meet for the first time and travel to remote areas of Iceland, encountering, and interacting with the people, traditions and landscape. Among the many contributors the film includes as well as the work of fellow photographer Tim Navis, and the musician Deru.
Yes I am so delighted to have the film featured on the blog, thank you! (WATCH)
Rosa: Why landscape and architecture? I see you changed careers, and certainly there is cool science to your work, with precision and balance ruling, yet a high degree of romance, and drama.
Kim: My grandfather used to work as an architect and my father is a skilled bird painter so I think the creative juices run through my family. I started reading endless amounts of architectural magazines in 2007 and that really pushed me into the field of architectural photography.
For more of the artist’s work visit: Kim Høltermand.