The first UK solo exhibition of South African photographer, Nico Krijno will open at Beetles+Huxley in March. The exhibition will showcase 21 photographs, including new works from his ongoing series ‘New Gestures’ and ‘Generator’, illustrating Krijno’s playful concern with the deconstruction of the still life genre and the interplay of contrasting images and textures, volume and form.
The subjects of Krijno’s still lifes are often temporary, unstable constructions, made of overlooked or ephemeral objects. These structures are created only to be photographed; often toppling or falling to pieces the moment the shutter clicks. In Play dough and Bottles (2016) the still life cliché of the empty bottle is reworked by Krijno; stacked precariously, wrapped in play-dough and doused in popping primary colours. His re-evaluation and playful subversion of the tableau tradition continues throughout the works in the exhibition, shown in his use of disposable materials, such as wooden veneer, bungee cords and plastic washing baskets and brooms.
Photographed in Krijno’s studio, these modern still lifes are subsequently digitally reworked. Krijno is especially interested in the transformative power of the photograph to flatten space and confuse perspective, and he utilises 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.
Krijno is part of an international wave of contemporary artists working to establish a new visual language for the still life in the information age. His ongoing exploration of form and material reveal his deeper interest in photographic ‘truthfulness’. These are images made explicitly to be read in the context of our internet-led, image saturated culture.
Nico Krijno’s work has been included in over 20 exhibitions across Europe, South Africa and the US. He was nominated for the Paul Huf Award in 2015 and selected as a Foam Talent in 2016. His limited-edition book ‘Synonym Study’ was shortlisted for the Paris Photo Aperture Foundation Awards First Photobook Prize in 2014.