New Haven-based artist Kevin Van Aelst makes photographs of mundane objects staged in unconventional ways, gently playing with the viewer’s expectations. The work grows out of the disparity that the artist noticed between the world of his mind (compelled by “fears, fascinations, curiosities and daydreams”) and the commonplace objects that surround him in his daily life. Through his photographs, the artist seeks to infuse everyday props with a greater sense of gravitas and meaning. He utilizes items so familiar and unremarkable that they could have been found in virtually any American home or office, and orchestrates them into subtly fantastical vignettes with existential subtexts. But rather than highlight the contrast between the world of abstract ideas and the minutiae that surrounds us, Van Aelst’s work is about reconciling the two; using the familiar and unimposing to channel loftier concepts, with the two scales complementing one another. After creating the photographs, the artist makes only minor post-production adjustments. The prints are generally large, averaging around 24 x 36 inches.