His work has consistently explored the dialogue of narrative tropes in an image soaked contemporary environment. Early works found pop-inspired imagery creating new contexts from photojournalism and advertising with highly detailed enlarged objects placed out of their environment. Successive shows moved on to use and explore cinematic stills as the source of a visual collective consciousness incorporating the vocabulary of cinematography and the expediency of digital photography as an inspiration for the new artworks.
In the latest body of work, the Dutch artist Nemo Jantzen goes beyond telling a one image story and depicting a voyeuristic look into another world and reality.
By carefully selecting hundreds of photographic images by colour and theme Nemo takes Neo-pointillism to the next level exploring the dialogue of narrative tropes in an image soaked in a contemporary environment and the collective unconscious. A magical plethora of colors with hundreds of images depicting, stories, momentous, personal experiences and cinematographic scenes encapsulated in crystal spheres that together form large compositions and portraits reflecting an idealized world filtered through the demands of the eye of the beholder.
NAILS & THREADS
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. Nemo is now sketching his subjects using nothing but nails and one continuous thread instead of using conventional materials like charcoal and pencil.
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. By the use of delicate thread that cast subtle shades on the background, these incredible pieces are not only extremely detailed, even photo-realistic; but also 3 dimensional, changing by the light cast and perspective of the beholder.
“What often starts in one direction will change as the layers build and affect each other. This process becomes meditative as I work to recall each memory and distill it into a physical representation. A by-product of my process and material choice is that each move can not be erased. It can be picked out or covered over but the holes and ghosts of the idea remain as pentimenti of my process, becoming a layered memory fading to the background.”
Fascinated by the level of creativity and craftsmanship that went into the pieces while bringing timeless elegance and style to the table the success of this new series was immediate and sparked the 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.