Nico Krijno (1981) grew up in a small town in South Africa, before leaving for Cape Town to pursue his career in photography and film. With a background in theatre and experimental video, his practice has a performative nature. Krijno has been considered one of a small international wave of artist to create a new photographic language. Photography that reflects the experience of viewing images online through platforms like Tumblr and Instagram. Platforms that bounce from image to image in a deconstructed cultural collage. Krijno hits at the space between photography and painting, using ephemeral sculptures as chords in the neo-photographic symphony he plays.
Krijno layers, clones and blurs his images distorting these forms that rebel in the rich history of still life. Constantly going against what we would expect from a photo, toying with the spatial illusions created by the camera. Challenging the materiality of photography itself. Sometimes, a landscape he captures is erased by Photoshop’s brush tool. In others his brush breaks apart a wood veneer to make it three-dimensional. “I want to show that the truth is not something simple, that there are not always clear and definitive answers” Krijno says.
The result is an intuitive way of looking at what surrounds us. Krijno’s subject matter is eclectic through his impeccable understanding of colour and composition. With forms ranging from vegetables and abandoned furniture to plastic waste. His work is at once hyperreal and magic, pointing at the banality of our existence with humor. Seen as more inventor then observer Krijno’s objects are part of his complex constructions. “I simply take what I find ‘around’, convert and transform this debris through a kind of creative alchemy into a theatrical mise-en-scene” Beauty is, for him, everywhere for those who are prepared to see it: he continues this day-to-day approach to art capturing and curating the world around him, adding his accidental poetic shots to the scrawling digital platforms.
His first solo show, ‘ On How To Fill Those Gaps’ in Cape Town (2011) was widely lauded and followed by other group shows in New York, Milan, San Fransisco, Glasgow and London. He was nominated for the Paul Huf Award 2013 and his self-published book ‘Synoym Study’ was shortlisted for the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Award 2014. Nico had his first European exhibition at The Ravestijn Gallery in November 2015, after being part of the gallery’s selection for UNSEEN Photo Fair 2015.