Nico Krijno’s latest collection of work, Lockdown Collages, were made at his farmhouse outside of Cape Town during lockdown. With his wife and two daughters away with family, Krijno made these works in acute seclusion. Yet whilst Krijno wasn’t used to the uncertain amount of time separated from his family, the resulting images reflect the newly found space that Krijno was granted from being completely alone. Whereas many of us have only felt uneasiness as we adjust to increasingly distanced lives, Krijno values that space as a critical foundation to his work. As such, these abnormal times have become a rare chance for Krijno to reorient himself, producing abundant, colourful works that set off in new directions whilst pursuing persistent interests. Hundreds of encyclopaedic images – ikebana arrangements, marble faces, kitsch household items and ornate furniture to name a few – have been sliced horizontally and stacked vertically into fantastical totem poles made from parts that refuse to be complete. Individually, each is a layered study of pattern, colour, form and texture, but as a whole they represent Krijno’s sharpened compulsion to learn and ask questions.
With a background in theatre and experimental video, Nico Krijno (b. 1981, South Africa) works at the blurry intersection of photography, collage, painting, sculpture and performance. Probing the thresholds of each, his work materialises through a stream of unique and colourful abstractions that not only act as autonomous pieces of art but when seen as a collection, Krijno’s obsession and constant intrigue into the perception of photographs becomes decidedly evident.
Often working with discarded materials found in his immediate surroundings, he interprets and re-imagines them to find alternative structures for how meaning and matter are both constructed and perceived. Photographing these ephemeral structures, as he describes himself, are a private and physical performance, with the camera being the audience. Importantly, the act of photographing these theatrical scenes is only one part of Krijno’s work. Through an array of digital tools, he then re-imagines the materials, colours and forms countless times until our understanding of each photograph is constantly being challenged, always failing to remain still.