De bekende wereld (The Known World) by Nick Shepard
Some thoughts: every day we encounter some odd delight and think little of it. Take artificial flowers, which offer a viable alternative to the real thing—they won’t wilt, nor do they require water—but do so at the cost of authenticity. We have grown so accustomed to these pervasive contradictions that we now routinely overlook them. Rather than attempt resolution, I seek to explore, bit by bit, those processes, spaces, and objects that create the jumbled pastiche that we experience daily. Moreover, these moments would be irrelevant without people to bring value and meaning to them, so portraits play an important role in my work. The figures serve as individuals, but also as embodiments of their larger cultural context. My images ask you to ‘look again’ at the overlooked, and to reconsider your impressions of the modern world.
In De bekende wereld (The Known World), I explore contemporary life in America through visual beauty, emotional directness, light effects, and naturalism evocative of the Dutch masters. I use Dutch genres and styles as a strategy to reframe the familiar range and complexity of our ‘everyday’ America, and to ask you to reconsider the world you know so well.
Nick Shepard lives and works in Portland, Oregon.
To view more of Nick's work, please visit his website.
He recently wrote for Fraction about Richard Mosse's exhibition at the Portland Art Museum.