Join us for PEOPLE ON THE NEWS, multidisciplinary artist Nic Koller’s first painting exhibition in New York City.
Through painting, video, & new media, Nic’s works explore the outer-boundaries of collage as a metaphor for human interaction. Like many of his works, PEOPLE ON THE NEWS presents 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. We dress up in costumes. We defend our individual, shifting viewpoints. We sleep. The juxtaposition of costumed party-goers & talking heads from the news speaks to the immediacy of 2018, where truth is relative and convictions are so often publicly exploited for personal gain and then readily discarded. When combined, these three patterned pieces convey varying degrees of human vulnerability and our tendency to exploit our convictions, our image, ourselves. As they iterate, the figures simplify gradually and give way to gesso & raw canvas, suggesting the possibility of infinite repetition – that our patterns might continue on – while providing the overtasked eye with a necessary resolution.