Conceptual photography plays around with distortion of reality in images to creatively present an idea or illustrate an imagination. John Wilhelm has taken conceptual photography to another level in his compilation of work found at his Behance gallery, here.
Looking at the series of images, each of them started with a provocative concept or an interesting idea. Then John let his imagination run wild and he invented his own reality over the layers of elements in his framing of images.
In many examples, there is an actual location or background that grounds the image to reality such as a football field, a barber shop, or a bathroom. Subsequently, John playfully toyed around with the main subject of the image (in this series usually children), having them do something incredible, logic challenging, and almost fantastic in nature. For example, a child was being drowned in a bathroom, or a room with everything in it is floating as if there was zero gravity.
While the line between reality and imagination was intentionally blurred in creating a world of fantasy dream or science-fiction, John never let his central theme slip away. The main messages in the concepts driving his images remained clear and obvious, dealing with child safety issues, complications derived from domination of smartphones usage, as well as fear of the unknown and the yearning for freedom.
These ideas are effectively expressed in such dramatic manner and presented in an alternate visual reality that it is nearly impossible not to look at the images more than once to figure out what they are trying to tell you. The surrealism and conceptual components in the images result in fine art quality to John Wilhelm’s work.
You may find more of John Wilhelm’s amazing work at his website here.