William Mortensen's 20th Century Photos Are Some Of The Most Beautifully Terrifying Images Ever Made

October 14, 2014 12:13 PM

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William Mortensen's 20th Century Photos Are Some Of The Most Beautifully Terrifying Images Ever Made

In one frame, a beastly gorilla hovers above a partially nude women, saliva dripping from its jowls. In another, a gaunt man is shown forcing his fingers deep into his eye sockets, with no signs of pain. In yet another, a naked figure floats on a broom, flying above rooftops in a perplexing yet innately erotic manner. These are but a few of the scenes that have sprung from the mind of William Mortensen, a photographer and artist known for his barbarically surreal take on image making.

The early 20th century icon was everything figures like Ansel Adams and Edward Weston were not. He was no purist -- he manipulated bodies and objects into oblivion, forming landscapes and creatures never seen in real life. He was a pictorialist, meaning he created photographs rather than captured th...

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