Nico Krijno’s Deconstructed Still Lifes
Nico Krijno has successfully established an exciting new visual language for the still life, made relevant for the information age. In his works, the visual tropes of the still life genre are deconstructed and pieced back together in unexpected and witty ways. Krijno’s playful re-evaluation of the tableau tradition is a theme that continues throughout the works in the exhibition, particularly in his reframing of disposable materials, such as wooden veneer, bungee cords and plastic washing baskets and brooms. The accoutrements of daily life, often mundane or kitsch, give a wry nod to the banality and increasing homogeneity of our modern constructed world.
Photographed in Krijno’s studio, these modern still lifes are subsequently digitally reworked by the artist. He is especially interested in the transformative power of the photograph to flatten space and confuse perspective, and uses digital manipulation to heighten these factors. Component parts are spliced together in Photoshop, scale is altered, backgrounds cut up and reassembled to create foreground details, and negative spaces made entirely solid, and it becomes difficult to choose which elements were once built in three dimensions and which are two-dimensional digital facsimiles. The repetition of the rhythms and forms found in each image create confusing visual undulations. Krijno’s digital alterations often leave the works with a rough, handmade aesthetic, as the marks of his on-screen paintbrush are left tangible, almost visceral. These digital acts of alteration seem to relate to and record the lively movements and gestures of the artist’s original studio processes.
Krijno’s on-going exploration of illusion, of both pictorial surface and material, reveal the artist’s deeper interest in photographic ‘truthfulness.’ His digital alterations unfix the picture plane, referencing the instability of truthfulness as a concept in the age of the Internet. Intricately and painstakingly produced sculptures are flattened, solid surfaces made fluid and perspective is erased. These dazzling, magical images are made explicitly to be read in the context of our Internet-led, image saturated culture.