Conceptual Photography; 13 images from multi-award winning artist

Andreas Varro's conceptual photography focuses on the modern man and woman's challenges, the digitalization, technology, and power structures in society. Get to know and be inspired by his conceptual art and editing techniques. He is known for his satirical work using traditional photography and complex photo manipulation techniques.

He creates his props and objects to convey stories

An example of conceptual photography with a male and female lying in heart-shaped coffins, with virtual reality headsets on.

Meta Love | 2022

By using different objects that lead the viewer into the image, helping the viewer understand the story, Andreas often creates his props with manual techniques. One way to create conceptual photography is by creating realistic scenarios using props and objects. In this photo, Andreas used two boxes, leading the viewer to wonder if it's two beds or two coffins. Are the persons in these boxes alive or dead? Or, in between, living in a virtual world? It tells a story about what future love might look like.

Behind the scenes creating conceptual photography

Combines elements and props to convey a story

A shattered globe with two hands curiously reaching for each other

Divided | 2021

The artwork Divided lifts all the different ways we are disunited as humans and society; we are desperately looking for ways to belong - politics, race, and religion and we, therefore, are separated. With conceptual photography, Andreas wants to convey that curiosity is still present even if we are more divided than ever — his inspiration for this artwork derives from Leonardo Davinci's work "The Creation of Adam." The work is created with a mix of models and objects - for example, an inflatable globe, a shattered round ceramic ball, smoke, and black slime. 

Identifies and uses scenarios that the viewer can relate to

Free will | 2021

Most people recognize how our world has changed with social media being in our lives, for good and bad. Free will is a conceptual artwork that speaks about the power and addictiveness of social media; we are nested into a system that captures us to retain us for profit. The consequences are many time that we step back from real-world social interaction, and this is something that most people today recognizes. We interact with our phones more than with our friends and family. The scene is simple yet complex, with a collection of props that creates a scenario that looks much like an altar, a man who worships his social media gods. Andreas award-winning conceptual photography contains a hand-crafted logotype made from wood, a bust of a famous social media person (guess who?) printed with a 3D printer, a bible, candles, and more. 

Laches on to iconic pop-culture

The Game | 2023

Conceptual photography is about conveying a story, message, or similar. In this image, Andreas parallels the story in Squid Game, a popular Netflix show, with modern society. It features desperate people who voluntarily participate in a deadly game with guards monitoring every step, with a slight chance of winning a life-changing price. Social media is the same, not fatal, but with real-world consequences. We search for meaning to belong, and many hope to win the highest price of fame and fortune, being recognized, with social media companies monitoring every step o the way. Using the iconic red clothes with hoodies from the film, Andreas replaced the guard's symbols with attached social media logotypes on their masks.

Behind the scenes creating The Game

Conceptual photography makes the impossible real

Pre Marketing | 2019

Technology helps us with many things but also gets under our skin, saving and tracking our most private life. Taking stories to the extreme is one way of lifting messages; what is the ultimate way of marketing a product? What about implanting an idea before birth? This image is created by photographing a few months old child and with digital techniques making it look like she's in her mother's womb. This method of creating conceptual photography is called photo manipulation.

He creates art from his heartbreaking personal story

Lost Love | 2021

Another way to express ideas in conceptual photography is to use something personal and create a concept. In lost love, Andreas uses his unique, heartbreaking story, the loss of his parents, to create something truly creative and horrifying; the loss of his parents. The first idea that comes to mind is if it's a real heart; if not, what kind of heart? And what is that in the background? Maybe coal? No, it's read rose leaves. Andreas created this image with a silicon-based heart modified with a scar.

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Creates impossible scenarios with photo manipulation

Big Brother | 2018

Conceptual photography delivers an artist's vision; in this artwork, Andreas lifts how tech companies track ordinary men and women daily. Many of our units collect and share data with companies so they can serve ads. This image conveys how we are "being watched." The image contains many layers and parts, photographing boxes with cables attached to them; in the middle is the central unit collecting and distributing all the data, a central brain, the algorithm, the artificial intelligence, and a collective mind.

Predict and paints future scenarios with conceptual photography

Homo sapien | 2022

Everyone can see how our society is developing; we are all using our digital devices more and more. Many people wonder what our future will look like, and in this conceptual artwork, Andreas takes it to its" edge." The idea makes the viewer, mentally, time travel in two directions; it takes the viewer far into the future where humans no longer exist, where other species have found must, Homo sapiens, and are observing us. Secondly, we see our legacy, and the Time Machine returns us to the present day, where we reflect on our actions. The image contains many manually created elements, from modifying an anatomically correct skeleton and making it look like a skeleton buried in the soil. Andreas created a large container filled with sand and molded it with gypsum to fit the skeleton.

Behind the scenes with Hasselblad and Andreas Varro

See this promotionvideo published by Hasselblad where Andreas Varro creates some of his conceptual photography artworks.

Manually made textures with complex techniques

Paradox | 2022

Conceptual photography often conveys feelings; in this case, the negative feelings from the never-ending pursuit of fame, wealth, and money are something that most people appreciate, a circle that leads us to believe that whatever we need is on the other side, where happiness awaits. This conceptual photograph reflects that no matter how much we have, we always beg for more. The conceptual artwork is created by photographing arms and hands and applying the texture of money on the model's skin, using Photoshop and advanced digital techniques.

Creative and hard-to-catch angles

Charons Fee | 2022

Using well-known stories is a way of convey a story is a way of making the user understand the essence of conceptual photography. In this case, Andreas uses the story from Greek mythology, where it's told that Charon, Hade's fairy man in the underworld, needs his payment to pass bodies over from the land of the living to the dead. The image plays with the cryptocurrency trend, and we no linger have the means to pay Charon in the afterlife. Andreas photographed the artwork in different locations; the boat is lying in the water with water lilies around it; Andreas photographed the man with the coins in a photography studio, and later, Andreas merged all elements in Photoshop.

The balance between beauty and despair

Screen Time | 2023

Sending mixed messages is a way of captivating an audience, making something beautiful with conceptual photography, and at the same time making it dark and scary. Andreas takes the viewer on a journey; should Moraly accept this image? Does this apply to me? Am I the problem? Are my children like this? Can I improve? Art can be many things; Andreas wants to challenge the status quo, which he does in a thought-provoking way. Simplistic techniques are a way of creating powerful messages in conceptual photography. Props and clothes lift the notice of superficialness, and a designed phone rig printed in 3D is made especially for this photo shoot.

Capturing the audience with details in conceptual photography

New Gods | 2020

Making the viewer's eyes swift through the image in conceptual photography, exploring details, and discovering new components and messages over time is an excellent way to make a photo interesting. New Gods lift the new, modern way of being famous, being an influencer, and using platforms to spread ideas, many times, ideologies. We place our "faith" with the inability to see past a large follower count. Andreas created this image by photographing many models in a photography studio, combining it with a background view from the heart of Stockholm. The style of the painting creates a mysterious Renaissance feeling.

Conceptual photography that conveys humans narcissistic lives

Selfish | 2018

Conceptual photography can be anything that conveys an artist's idea. It can be a time-stamp, in this case displaying the artists surrounding the world. But it can also be a way of forcing the viewer to heart-search and think of the current state of society and sometimes their own lives. This image conveys a story about a mother who uses her child to gain status and influence. The image is a rather simplistic yet powerful portrait of a mother with her crying child wanting her attention. She is surrounded by hundreds of thumbs, giving her approval. A few people's thumbs are photographed at different angles at different distances to build up a" sea" of thumbs.

About Andreas Varro

Andreas Varro is a multi-award-winning artist creating surreal art with the purpose of starting deep and meaningful conversations between people about modern man's and woman's challenges. His artwork has been called a "prophetic critique of modern society."

Portrait of Andreas Varro