Photographer Nicolas Bruno has been haunted by episodes of sleep paralysis since he was 15-years-old. To understand his trauma, imagine waking up but being unable to move. While your mind is caught between sleeping and waking, you are confronted with terrifying visions such as an intruder in the room but are unable to react or even call out in fear.
Finding himself in a personal rut after having to deal with such horrible nightmares regularly, Bruno began to write down his experiences and draw inspiration for his conceptual photography from the recurring visions of silhouetted and masked figures. Photography became his way of pushing through the situation and expressing his creative conscience.
The reenactments of his dreams were a bittersweet homage and although these photographs were derived from terrible nightmares, they convey much more than just fear. In the dark surreal world of gas masks, bowler hats, and lanterns inspired by Caspar David Friedrich and Caravàggio, Bruno is able to express himself and make something stunning and beautiful from an otherwise awful situation.
Now 19, Bruno is studying photography at SUNY Purchase in New York while he continues to create his incredible and surreal images of a dark dreamworld.