Photographers making isolation sexy

Image taken via @phdonohue

In the current situation, isolation is an ordeal – but it can also look pretty. Just check out these seven photographers lensing quiet street scenes, empty shopping centres and bars without people for proof.

Self-isolation. All feels a bit George Orwell doesn’t it? Commutes are now roughly 50 seconds long. Bed-kitchen table-sofa-bed. Personal hygiene is long gone. FaceTime is the new good-time-gal and it’s likely you’ve been wearing tracksuit bottoms for eight days straight.

If by now you’re starting to feel a bit doolally, take a breather and check out the photographers and curators capturing isolation in many forms on their Instagrams, from the confines of the living room walls, of course. Loneliness never looked so inviting…



Valérie Timmermans, Luxembourg Associate Curator for photography gallery and publisher, Subjectively Objective, has used her Instagram to curate the best in isolation photography she’s spotted – many of which are included in this list. An untouched swimming pool sits under the starry night sky by photographer Magadelena Pardo, while a Rotes Kleines Auto sits alone, parked awkwardly by some grass, captured by Bernhard Fuchs.


PATRICK CLELLAND @dayzedandconfuzed

Sydney-based photographer Patrick Clelland makes use of the cinematic 35mm film effect while capturing scenes of emptiness whether in his New South Wales hometown, Keelung, Taiwan or Bangkok. At times spooky, locations include an empty metro train, a meat shop without a butcher, and creaky corridors exposing the eerie emptiness of everyday locations without human existence.


EMMANUEL MONZON @emmanuelmonzonphotography

Isolation might often conjure up images of unsettling emptiness, but Seattle-based Emmanuel Monzon’s use of exposure and familiar subjects like a Heinz ketchup bottle sat in a diner, or a giant T‑Rex model placed in between palm trees, are inviting – calming, almost. Placed together, his feed works like a friendly photo diary.


DINO KUZNIK @dinokuznik

Dino Kužnik’s take on isolation is all-American. Think: muscle cars, cacti and palm streets, and motel signs stood loud and proud in the middle of a sandy freeway. Based in New York, the film photographer’s scenes are like a medley of David Hockney’s pristine, angular paintings in his Palm Springs series and the old-Hollywood lyrics in Lana del Rey’s Born to Die LP, with a bit of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas thrown in for good measure.


PHIL DONAHUE @phdonohue

Photographer Phil Donahue captures playful moments of isolation within familiar American settings, like pastel-shaded blocks in a Taco Bell, a kitsch bowling alley in Nashville, Tennessee, and a baby pink house in Indiana, situated on the edge of the vast expanse of Beverly Shores, with the most immaculate front garden. It’s nostalgic, and a nod to simpler times”, but thoughtful in its attention to small details found in everyday malls, restaurants and hang-out spots.


CHRISTOPHER SOUKUP @christopher_soukup

Christopher Soukup is something of a nightcrawler (“roaming the night and confronting the shadows. In search of the relics still hanging on among us” per his Instagram bio). Taken in silent moments throughout the night, the images are chilling, made more so through the glowing light and stillness of the scenes. You can’t help but think of an imminent UFO arrival.


LORENA LOHR @lorena__lohr

Lorena Lohr captures mundane moments and flips them into romantic viewpoints, as shown in her photography book Tonight Lounge published by independent north London gallery, Cob Gallery, accompanying the exhibition of the same name shown earlier this year. A solo, sickly-sweet milkshake topped with whipped cream, a lipstick-stained cigarette lying limply on the floor, and the corner of a mint green café wall are subjects Lohr often plays with. Attention to detail is key in her work, as is the killer colour palette of blush pinks, reds and blues.

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