Asger Carlsen is a Danish photographer who currently lives and works in New York. Carlsen creates the most absurd and surreal images of today. His style is recognizable. The portraits are retouched, the objects are redone so that they have nothing in common with reality. People he depicts have many eyes and multiple heads, some of them suffer from Grave’s disease, some have wooden legs. These images are bizarre and weird. At the same time the images being manipulated by Carlsen seem to be very realistic.
One of the most famous series by Carlsen is Wrong. It depicts people with abnormalities. His characters have several heads and suffer from rare diseases. But they seem to be absolutely okay. They have the same needs as we have. They want to be loved and appreciated. In fact the only difference is appearance. And it is shocking indeed.
Carlsen prefers black-and-white photography. It lets people believe that the images by Carlsen might be real or at least possible. “Considering how overly fantastic the world can look with CGI technology, it always surprises me how many people question the actual events withing an image I’ve created. Even though they know it’s not real, their mind is manipulated somehow, and suddenly they think the content could be possible […] The work should be considered a relief from reality”.
One of the most provocative and experimental series refers to the project Hester. It depicts transformed human bodies that look like sculptures. The series is grotesque and weird. Some people find his pictures to be funny. But Carlsen doesn’t try to be funny. “I feel drawn to something that can be left open to any new interpretation and that helps me to understand a lot of things about myself. Ultimately, I think that some of my subjects are so far from reality that they become freaky. And the funniness is maybe because I’m a really nice guy”, says Carlsen.