Nemo Jantzen’s exploration of perception and perspective mixes photography, pointillism, and pop art to create mixed media photo-compositions that question and deconstruct pop culture and mass media.
In an effort to explore and interrogate the powerful presence of visual culture in the modern world – Television, billboards, music, social media, magazines, and more – Jantzen has developed an aesthetic that feels both analog and interactive.
After collecting thousands of images and organizing them by theme and color, the artist embeds them in small handmade resin spheres. Jantzen then joins dozens of the spheres together to create large scale mixed media photographic portraits. The work requires and inspires viewers to constantly investigate their perspective through the interplay of walking up close and standing at a distance.
Part of Jantzen’s intent seems to be bringing awareness to viewers of how individual perception is influenced by mass media messaging, “We sometimes get bombarded by so much information that we lose sight of “the big picture”.
Nemo Jantzen’s dome pieces created a buying frenzy and sold out shows from the moment it was introduced during Art Basel Miami in 2015 and has ever since caught the attention of many art collectors and consolidated private and public collections worldwide. The success of the works has taken the contemporary art world by storm and shows no sign of calming down; maintaining the status of the top ten in the most high-in-demand artist in Art Fairs (Study by Artsy) and beyond.
NAILS & THREADS
In his latest body of work, the Dutch artist Nemo Jantzen is combining skills obtained in the earlier years of his career as a painter, sketching his subjects on canvas or paper and learning about perspective, depth, contrast, and light. But instead of using conventional materials like charcoal and pencil, he is sketching his subjects using nothing but nails and one continuous thread.
By placing hundreds of stainless steel nails on a wooden board as his canvas, and using his photography as a road map, Nemo zigzags thread from nail to nail, layer over layer until magically his pieces take shape with a remarkable level of creativity and craftsmanship. By the use of delicate thread that cast subtle shades on the background, these dazzling pieces are not only extremely detailed, even photo-realistic; but also three dimensional, changing by the light cast and perspective of the beholder.
This new series sparked the immediate interest of Art collectors, journalists, interior designers, and art lovers alike from the moment he introduced the series to the public in 2018 at Art Miami.
In my mixed media bodywork of painted ceramics on wood, I try to capture and address these times of vigilance and voyeurism of hidden cameras and video surveillance that have become accepted in our society, creating awareness of this invasion of privacy for our own perverted need to know and watch all. In the name of safety and control and fed by the media this imagery has changed into entertainment and pleasure. Portraying public figures that became common good through the lens of a camera and a language of blurred and pixelated imagery, our eyes got all too used too over these last decades, photographic stills and scenes that can tell whole stories in one glance. In these pieces, built up out of hand-painted ceramic tiles which I use as building blocks that by themselves are nothing more than that but together form pixelated shapes that merely suggest an image that our imagination transforms into a flowing and complete figures. The missing details and shortage of information stimulate our imagination to fill in the blanks and create excitement.
OIL AND ACRYLIC ON CANVAS
In my hyper-realistic work, much inspired by film, I try to capture details of highly enlarged objects or photographic moments in time; scenes, often decadent and noir style subject matters with a story to tell, like a movie still with an open ending, deliberately avoiding eye contact giving away a personality of the painted subjects, not to interfere with the imagination of the spectator and compelling them to think and imagine what has happened or what will happen next. Intrigued by light and the mystery of darkness I play with a focus creating a sense of depth and connecting the image and viewer through the inclusion of the optical vocabulary of cinematography and the allusion to the constraints of the instant polaroid. Thus bringing into question the act of voyeurism and the anticlimactic and revelatory nature of privacy.