In a photographic career spanning 25 years, Seb Janiak has explored a remarkably diverse range of areas. A survey of his work would form a virtually complete picture of all the options offered by the photographic medium, such is its scope. In keeping with the lively tradition at the heart of photography, technological innovations open up the possibility of new types of images. However, only a handful of people can successfully forge an artistic idiom and blaze a trail in the uncharted territory unveiled by the new tools available to them. Fewer still can also provide innovative solutions to the issues raised by previous generations, but Seb Janiak features among their ranks.
From his matte paintings with their revolutionary new techniques and unique perspectives in the mid-1980s to his latest photographs of laser beams passing through prisms, attempting to capture light in its original purity without the use of artificial means (mirroring the endeavors of the founding fathers of photography in the first half of the 19th century), Janiak has successfully preserved a sense of cohesion while covering the full range of possibilities offered by photography. This cohesion is all the more remarkable considering the major break with the past in photography over the last thirty years represented by the advent of digital technology. Rejecting the straitjacket of specific schools or eras, but exploiting instead the complex nature of the world around him, Seb Janiak uses – and reveals in his photographs – the vibrant power of opposites.
Since 2011, he has set new parameters on this research by restricting himself to the techniques of analog photography, namely double exposure, superimposition, and photomontage (no photoshop).
Artist Statement about “Le Jardin de Maya” (“Garden of Delights”)
Maya is a Sanskrit term that designates the illusory nature of our world. The vision as a warning of the earthly pleasures of Jerome Bosch fascinates me. What could pass for sins of delicacies at a time when the Earth was still virgin of industrializations and pollution, left me a bitter taste at the sight of the state of our planet in the XXI century. (Seb Janiak)
The material pleasures are still the same, but the damage to nature and to humans and life, in general, has multiplied by a billion 5 centuries later. Humanity has entered a hellish spiral, blinded by the mirages of immediate pleasures, pleasures of unceasing pleasure, at any time, anywhere and at any price. We are in the century of the ME, of self-centeredness afflicted with outrageous outrageous narcissism.
Humility has become obsolete. By denying the sacred and the invisible, part of humanity ended up turning its back on its soul. My Earth, ravaged by the greed of man has become Hell…,
Denying the existence of the soul and seeing only the physical body as the one and only outcome of life can only ruin the conscience of man by misleading it…,
Approaching the themes of DNA control and the fusion of biology and artificial intelligence inspired my “Paradise”.
More info about Seb Janiak’s work:
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