Entities is a photo series from the Swedish photographer Gabriel Isak which was inspired by the subject of existentialism and his experience with depression. Here he explores different personas and the search for one’s place, both internal and external.
Gabriel Isak is a Swedish photographer and visual artist who uses photography as a medium to give life to surreal images. Inspired by the bleak and gloomy Swedish winters, he has drawn a lot of inspiration from the Northern scenery and its cold colors.
Despite the photographs’ strong minimalistic arrangements, they’re rich in symbolism and carry a lot of emotions.
“Entities” is a photo series surrounding existentialism. The project was born out of the time of Gabriel’s life in New York in 2017. This was the time when the photographer went through an existential feeling of being lost, and questioned where he really belongs in the world.
Drawing from his seven-year-long depression as well as various aspects of human psychology, dreams, and romanticism, Gabriel portrays different personas representing the different facets of the inner world of an individual.
“It was a very dark and vulnerable time in my life that lasted for seven years. (…) During that period, I couldn’t photograph or do any other things I enjoyed. I felt imprisoned and paralysed.
Only after leaving Sweden for San Francisco for a change of environment, I began to see the light again. I started to explore my interest in photography and began to create images that were either related to or inspired by my depression.“
Gabriel Isak’s images of boundless oceans, blue skies, and faceless figures take the viewers on a journey between hope and melancholy, light and dark, reality and dreams.
As he puts it, his subjects “are anonymous with the slightest glimmerings of consciousness, imprisoned in monochromatic settings, so the viewer can envision oneself as the subject, reflecting back on one’s own experiences and journey in life.”
Gabriel Isak is a Swedish visual artist specialising in Fine Art photography. In 2016, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California.
His work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at The Cannery Gallery, in San Francisco, and included in various important exhibitions such as “Acclimatize” at the Museum of Modern Art, in Stockholm, or “Culture Pop” at M Contemporary, in Sydney.