In The Seraphim, the second installment of Jesse Lenz’s ambitious photobook septology, “The Seven Seals,” the photographer delves deeper into his artistic vision, exploring the profound connection between destruction and renewal, terror and hope. Building on the vision of his first book, The Locusts, Lenz observes his children and their interactions with the surrounding environment, the microcosmic world of insects, plants, and wild animals they encounter, artfully mirroring the cyclical nature of life and weaving a visual tapestry that finds enchantment in the familiar and transforms the mundane into the magical. Set within the landscape of rural Ohio, where Lenz resides, the family farm and its surroundings transform from the simple to the extraordinary, transporting us back to the joys, curiosity, and vulnerability of childhood. Intimate portrayals of his children become universal archetypes for our own growth and the inevitable emotions that accompany them.
The Seven Seals of the Apocalypse inspire the framework of each book in the series, symbolizing a stage of not only his children’s growth but also his own personal evolution. The natural world becomes an antidote to the disenchantment of modernity, nurturing a sense of wonder in his children—a precious season that requires exclusive attention and persistence. Where The Locusts witnessed how Lenz began to perceive a world he had long overlooked, The Seraphim implores the necessity for continued contemplation of man and nature, longing and clarity, life, and death. The child’s world, where reality and imagination seamlessly merge, provides the perfect stage for this vital transformational process. —Alex Nicholson
Charcoal Press, Charcoalpress.com // The Seraphim is due to release November 2023.