Memories distort, combine & simplify over time to form something new. Everyday people gather to form sprawling patterns across multiple panels. As a multidisciplinary artist whose works explore the outer-boundaries of collage, Nic Koller creates collage-inspired acrylic paintings, video collages, a surprising take on "analogue" video work that is shot and displayed on multiple iPhones, and even extends collage into the audio-sphere by layering found sound into musical compositions.
These works iterate upon themselves, overlapping conceptually & thematically, and share a distinct, complementary visual language. Regardless of the medium, Nic depicts common people (& places as representations of people) while embracing spontaneous, collaborative moments as the foundation of his process. This ongoing exploration has expanded Nic’s understanding of his composited style. It’s not just about seeing multiple angles & different moments in time at once; it’s also about fractured human relationships.
At first glance, Nic’s 2017 pool series is an homage to David Hockney’s swimming pools of the 60’s & early 70’s. However, these paintings are not about light interacting with water or even the pools themselves. Instead, this series focuses on small group dynamics. Nic combines moments captured from his everyday life to recreate emotive, Neo-figurative memories in these paintings. Each person depicted is absorbed in their separate story, — including the viewer, who is simultaneously ignored & posed for, a part of the pool party group & a voyeur. The collaging & containing of Nic’s subjects suggests isolation within these groups, and that these memories have distorted, combined & simplified over time in order to form something new.
Nic’s recent solo show in New York City, PEOPLE ON THE NEWS, presented its figurative subject matter through the lens of technology. By showcasing the subjects through manual, painted repetitions, Nic invokes familiar digital patterns, such as a website’s repeating background or the endless looping of a GIF. Images of everyday people – captured sleeping, taking selfies, partying or appearing in our endless barrage of news media – repeat across multiple panels and decay into raw canvas. Unlike digital copies, each rendering of an individual manifests distinctly; we can discern slightly different posturing and incomplete details alongside convincing likenesses, confounding our expectations of sameness. These multi-panel works suggest themes of overpopulation alongside patterns of human behavior and are acknowledged by the artist as a direct response to living in New York City. A departure from his more personal, emotive work exploring memory and isolation, PEOPLE ON THE NEWS zooms out to expose broader truths about humanity.
Nic has been working to animate otherwise traditional portraits by combining painted surfaces & projected light. This innovative process creates dynamic images that defy traditional mediums in search of the new. When viewed without the projection, the painted surface is flat, resembling an expressionist portrait built from abstracted shapes & blocks of muted color. When powered on, the video projection moves subtly within the boundaries of the canvas, creating depth & sharpness while enhancing the painting’s saturation. Nic is hoping to connect with the right gallery for a 2019 exhibition of these new painting/projection works:
- 360 VIDEO -
In collaboration with NYC Filmmaker Weston Morgan, Nic is working to bring his video collage style into the immersive world of VR with a new 360 video. This video project centers on a conversation between two women: strangers from different backgrounds learning about what they have in common.
Expected release date: Early 2019
- STRAIGHT THROUGH THE WALL -
Nic is the lead curator for STRAIGHT THROUGH THE WALL (STTW), a guerrilla Arts collective that projects video art onto walls throughout NYC. With every screening, they’re incorporating art into the cityscape, projecting video on compelling textured surfaces, bringing it out of the rigid structures of galleries & exhibitions, and delivering it directly to people often in neighborhoods with little access to art. STTW’s 2019 Season starts April 2019. More information available at: