Obscuring the boundaries between fashion and art photography, Viviane Sassen’s work spans still life, portraits, and landscapes in which light itself becomes a primary subject used to create surreal shadows, convey mood, and evoke the fantastical. In her work, the familiar becomes less so, as recognizable but unexpected forms collide and blur the line between representation and abstraction. The viewer is confronted with the real – the people and scenes Sassen captures with her lens – presented in a deliberately surreal manner, creating a sort of cognitive dissonance. A black void floats in a desert landscape, a woman’s silhouette hovers above paperwork forming a strange visual collage, forming a mythological hybrid; a myriad of strawberries forms a decorative pattern verging on the abstract. Her experiments with that which we think we know purposefully confuse our perception of space, ask the viewer to consider alternate realities, and push audiences to contemplate the undetermined symbolic possibilities presented in her images. In doing so, Sassen expands our understanding of photography as a medium that offers a faithful relationship to the world around us.