* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.
Erik Nieminen is a painter who was born in Ottawa, ON, Canada. He earned a B.F.A. from the University of Ottawa and an M.F.A. from Concordia University in Montreal.
Erik describes his work by saying, “Reality. The term “reality” denotes what is real; in its widest sense, this includes everything that exists, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. My paintings present an independent reality, a world that is dependent on our real world yet is separate from it. It is a world that exists on its own terms. When you’re in a place you tend to absorb much more than you can possibly remember. You notice details and seemingly inconsequential things, which are then put together in your mind. To represent the qualities that the mind absorbs requires a combination of recollection and reference. Photography is an important tool. It isn’t the photographic ‘look’ so much as it is the photographic memory that is important for my paintings. The photograph provides not just veracity but memory of a subject. This allows for a fairly detailed approach to my painting, but one that I can subjectively control in terms of how I use the information to achieve different degrees of realism or hyperrealism. I’m interested in what one could call ‘ordinary fare’. I don’t look for the exotic. The scenes that I’m interested in are usually immediately familiar as social types and modern spaces. Within these unassuming locations, subjects, and situations, I try to tap into what I perceive as the endless narratives and ironies that happen around us all the time.”