Nigel Grimmer - Statement / Biography
I am a mixed media artist researching the language
of the photographic portrait. Historically my investigation focused on domestic photography, specifically the family album. Recently I have begun to study the self-portraits produced for use within social media, particularly dating apps and Instagram stories.
I think of my photographic work as anti-portraiture; through a variety of devices the model’s face is obscured. This methodology stems from a reaction against photographic history and traditional practice, which I see as exploitative and corrupt. There is an underlying narrative of the exploitation of the other, the model and the unsuspecting public by the privileged.
Geoff Dyer highlights this in ‘The Ongoing Moment’ in which he summarizes the canonical photographers who have surreptitiously shot portraits of the blind, the “ultimate natural model”. My allegiance was always with the ‘other’, and never with the ‘heroic’ figure of the photographer.
Beginning with my undergraduate studies I have looked at other ways of working. I am currently negotiating more democratic practices with my collaborators.
Given my feelings towards much photographic practice, that it is inherently exploitative, I feel it is necessary to highlight the constructed nature of the photographic illusion whenever possible.
We live in an age that consumes images in problematic ways; we are the first generation that understands that most of the images we see are manipulated, the cover of a fashion magazine for example, but we still diet to look like the image we know is fallacy.
MA Fine Art
Central Saint Martins
BA Fine Art
Sheffield Hallam University
Making Strange, Praxis Gallery, USA: Director’s Choice Winner, Selected by Director Erika Friesen
Uncertain States Open, Four Corners Gallery, UK: Winner
Selected by Uncertain States
Foto8 Summer Show, London: People’s Choice First Prize
Selected by Public Vote
Crash Open, Charlie Dutton Gallery, London, UK: First Prize
Selected by Matthew Collings, Art Critic
Minor Monuments: Bloc Projects, Sheffield, UK
Time's Relentless Melt: Charlie Dutton Gallery, London, UK
Queer Contemporaries: AIR Gallery, Manchester, UK
As Yet Untitled: Studio1.1, London, UK
Queer Art(ists) Now: Void Gallery, London, UK
Homosurrealism Hollywood: Touchon Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
Making Strange: Praxis Gallery, Minneapolis, USA
Round Hole, Square Peg: LA Art Show, Los Angeles, USA
Peckham International Art Fair: Bussey Building, London, UK
Intruder Alert! James Freeman Gallery, London, UK