Photo of Nicolas Bruno

Nicolas Bruno studied at Purchase College of New York, where he received his BFA in Photography in 2015. His studio practice is based in Northport, New York, where he photographs and fabricates props for his compositions. Bruno weaves together his terrifying experiences of sleep paralysis with surreal self-portraiture in a therapeutic translation of night terror to image. His constructed worlds of uncertainty exist on a plane between waking and sleeping, where he is tormented by a physical embrace of the subconscious and its perils, all while being paralyzed in bed. Influences of 19th century Romanticists, historical texts, occultism and dream symbolism lace each composition with various visual dialogues of the macabre.

Bruno is the creator of The Somnia Tarot, a 78-image art series that tells the tale of the classic tarot through conceptual photography. Through this collection of work, the tale of the classic tarot is told through the mediums of photography, sculpture, costume design, and dream journal recordings. Various characters and symbolism from sleep paralysis are woven together to express the diverse themes that appear within the tarot. The conception of The Somnia Tarot began during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the project was completed in late November of 2020.

Read more about Nicolas in our Tarot Tales with Somnia Tarot Creator, Nicolas Bruno interview.