Nigel Grimmer combines male portrait photography with textiles to critique the superficiality of the online image. Many of his men have their faces obscured, interrupting the image as a challenge to the complacent viewer. The wrapping of photographs in found fabrics, and the addition of stickers and sweets, then echo in solid form the virtual patterns and emojis found in image apps. All seek to emphasize how manipulated a seemingly natural portrait really is, as well as adding some sense of the tangible and ‘real’ to the fleeting digital image. Through this approach, Nigel uses the ‘photo as physical object’ as a way of disrupting the viewer’s customary sense of safe distance, and to establish a greater equality between the reader of the image and its subject.
Nigel Grimmer is a British artist based in London. He studied MA Fine Art at Central St Martins, and BA Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam. He has exhibited widely both in the UK and the US, including ‘Making Strange’ at Praxis Gallery, New York in 2018 where his work was selected as Director’s Choice Winner; ‘Queer Contemporaries’ at AIR Gallery in Manchester in 2020; ‘Queer Art(ists) Now’ at Void Gallery, London in 2020; and ‘Round Hole, Square Peg: LA Art Show’ in Los Angeles in 2018.