By working with predominantly black and white imagery, Bjerre-Poulsen is able to play with and push his images tonally and texturally, with mesmerizing use of light and shadow. In some photographs, clean lines, sharp surfaces, and the outline of limbs present a blazingly clear depiction of geometry and human form. In others, the soft, supple contours of skin or moving water provides a very real sense of atmosphere, weight, and presence. Balancing this tension is integral to the book’s poise. Furthermore, atmosphere plays an important role in Bjerre-Poulsen’s work. What is compelling about his photographic style is how he is able to fuse together his intuitive and observational approach with an aura that permeates throughout each image, enveloping the audience in the desire for more.
The collection of images doesn’t give much away though as to what stories lie beyond the lens, but this sense of enigma is precisely part of Bjerre-Poulsen’s aesthetic. The theme of mystery is reflected in the text ‘On Spheres’ by the New York-based writer Charles Shafaieh, who details the philosophical origins of the sphere, noting numerous times throughout history in art and literature where artists have been drawn to the sphere’s enchanting and apparent perfection. “A sphere is particularly mysterious because, regardless of perspective, it always strikes the eye (yet another almost-sphere) as a perfect circle,” he writes. “This mysterious quality of perfection is both a captivating and unsettling illusion.” His images are not necessarily surreal, yet they present a dream-like quality where we remain uncertain of what constitutes reality. As the point is posed in the book’s introduction, “the acts of sensing and understanding keep challenging each other.”
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