Torbjørn Rødland (born 1970, Stavanger, Norway) is a Los Angeles-based photographer who creates portraits, still lifes and landscapes, which simultaneously inhabit, defamiliarise and disrupt the realm of the everyday.
Depicting situations that can appear overly familiar, Rødland’s photographs reveal an underlying lyricism and poetic language that result from the artist’s reconfiguration of the diverse material and media that surround us. At first glance, Rødland’s work often inhabits the aesthetic space of commercial photography due to a formal clarity and, at times, fetishistic approach to subjects, objects and materials. Recurring tropes within his images include produce such as oranges, bananas, cakes and octopus tentacles, and close-ups of body parts and related accessories. Knees, feet and torsos partner with pads, socks and tattoos, while viscous substances, such as honey and paint, coat, ooze and drip over his subjects.
Rødland’s approach to image-making – using analogue photography in mostly staged scenarios – draws attention to the constructed nature of the image, while leaving open the potential for unexpected outcomes. That his images hold the viewer’s gaze is not only the result of a certain pleasure in the act of looking, but also the indirect, uncertain nature of their messages. As the artist states, his photographs aim to ‘keep you in the process of looking’.