The photographic tale of a dystopian summer without trees

The photographic collages by American artist Diana Cheren Nygren paint the summer rituals of a metropolitan city irreparably transformed by the climate crisis.

US photographer Diana Cheren Nygren depicts in her portfolio When the Trees Are Gone moments of a future life in metropolitan cities, irreparably transformed by the climate crisis. Thanks to the collage technique, the artist combines the research carried out on three different themes — abstract compositions of urban structures, beach dwellers and dramatic skies — imagining the next metropolitan inhabitants in search of moments of relief, in a world shaped by the increase in the libel of the oceans, and the gradual disappearance of vegetation in the urban context.

Diana Cheren Nygren, Bottled Water, 2019

In these images, relaxed bathers find themselves in a carefully composed urban environment, where skyscraper roofs become improvised pools and billboards perfect scaffolding for sunbathing. Everything is also charged with dramatic tension, thanks to the apocalyptic skies, which form the backdrop for such new metropolitan habits. These urban scenographies, full of elements normalize, in an unexpected way, moments of a life overturned by climate change, images that for now appear to our eyes only the umpteenth apocalyptic dystopia.

“The clash between nature and the city translates into an absurd profusion of visual noises” says the author of the shots. “The resulting images lay bare my urban fantasy and that of urban planners, and the problematic nature of the future that lies ahead for humanity and the planet.”

Diana Cheren Nygren is a fine art photographer from Boston, Massachusetts. Her work explores the visual character of place defined through physical environment and weather. Place has implications for our experience of the world, and reveals hints about the culture around it.

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