Bizarre or trending subjects, catch a break with our curiosity of the week. Sculptures? Photographs? Nicolas Polli’s creations combine humour, eroticism, fascination and disgust for our greatest pleasure.

While he was destined to be a professional snowboarder, an injury led Nicolas Polli to reinvent himself. The photographer and designer from Switzerland has since built a world of his own, inspired by surrealism and humour. “I am very down to earth, I need to perceive materials, to create audacious compositions. I add a little extravagance to all my photoshoots and projects”, he confides. Drawing on both his professional experiences, the artist builds his set and then captures it, freezing nonsensical and ephemeral sculptures. “I’m convinced that we see too much in our daily lives and therefore don’t pay attention to the details. Elaborating something unusual is a way for me to captivate people. If you create tension in your work, you create interest,” he says.

A modern cabinet of curiosities

Close-ups, ribbed skins, delirious installations… Taken with a flash, Nicolas Polli’s images are illuminated by a dazzling and deceptive light. “This luminosity helps to create a surrealist dimension. Photography is known to reveal the truth – even though it is obviously the easiest medium to manipulate. My stagings blur the boundaries between reality and fiction, and I like to consider light as one more element to manipulate,” says the artist.

Between humour and nightmares, eroticism and disgust, his creations enter the viewer’s mind and leave their mark. Together, they form a mismatched collection of striking scenes that balance each other out in the end. An unusual experience, orchestrated by the photographer, who first imagines his works as series, so he can then deconstruct them on Instagram. “I love this process, which allows me to apprehend my images differently. On social networks, they are funnier and softer, but in book form they take on a whole new dimension,” he says. Vibrant, and sometimes repulsive, Nicolas Polli’s creations can be observed with cautious fascination. A modern cabinet of curiosities.

© Nicolas Polli