Critique

Portfolio: Erlend Mikael Sæverud

Photographer from Norway looks everywhere for geometric forms shaped by light and shadow, and finds them.

Erlend Mikael Sæverud Age 41

Street photographer from Oslo. Graduated from Bilder Nordic photo school in 2011. His works are exhibited in many galleries in Norway.

Coming from a family of musicians and composers I used to be a music producer/arranger and guitarist working in front of a computer inside a studio all day. I bought a camera in 2007 for my wife, but I found myself borrowing it all the time. After a while, she asked me to get a camera of my own. From that day on I was addicted.

I wanted to learn everything about photography and how the camera worked. In this process I soon realized that I was paying attention to my surroundings in another way when I looked through the camera. It almost felt like I saw the world for the first time and I felt like I was waking up from a dream.

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I brought my camera with me everywhere, and was fascinated with all the interesting things going on in the streets. I tried different techniques I learned from magazines and being used to diving into advanced software and equipment, I learned the technical side of it fast.

After a workshop with the Norwegian photographer Morten Krogvold where I learned to take portraits of strangers, a whole new world opened — these encounters changed me as a person and I realized that there is so much more to photography than taking pictures. In 2008, I decided to study at the Bilder Nordic School of Photography where I focused on art photography.

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Most of my work is street photography. I love to capture spontaneous moments that suddenly come from nothing. I tend to look for geometrical forms shaped by light and shadow. Everything is geometry. It makes me think of our origin, how these shapes are the foundation of our existence.

I also exploit the theme of solitude and darkness in my art. I think solitude sometimes can be an important path, to get to know the depth of existence. I am very inspired by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung: “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”

I tend to look for geometrical forms shaped by light and shadow. Everything is geometry. It makes me think of our origin, how these shapes are the foundation of our existence.
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I think it is possible to make beautiful art with only the intention of making it beautiful. But if a beautiful picture strikes me emotionally, it will always make sense in some way. I love surrealism, where I find sense in the nonsense.

I think it lies in the nature of photography to pay attention to details, and the more I look, the more I question my surroundings. These questions grow on me all the time, I look for questions much more than answers.

I once attended a meditation class and the teacher asked me to imagine I was 100 meters tall. That was easy for me and a great experience. It felt very true that size is relative, we are incredibly big and incredibly small.

I think it is possible to make beautiful art with the only intention of making it beautiful. But if a beautiful picture strikes me emotionally it will always make sense in some way.
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My most recent project GATE is inspired by science fiction, surrealism, and film noir. This project is based upon a fictional book «The Book of Quasar». The streets are lit by quasars, and black holes are passages to parallel worlds. Before GATE I worked with the project «Dagdrøm» (Daydream). They are surrealistic self-portraits inspired by metaphysics. Many of the ideas from this series helped me to develop Gate.

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