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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

Selected Awards 


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

Selected Exhibitions 



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

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