De bekende wereld (The Known World) by Nick Shepard

Issue 75

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. 

  Boy with CZ, 2013

Boy with CZ, 2013

  Blossoms of Silk and Polyester, 2013

Blossoms of Silk and Polyester, 2013

  Grant Miller, Actor, 2013

Grant Miller, Actor, 2013

  Occident / Orient (Tea Time), 2014

Occident / Orient (Tea Time), 2014

  Vitrine (Macaw) #2, 2010

Vitrine (Macaw) #2, 2010

  Edge Arrangement, 2015

Edge Arrangement, 2015

  The Geraces (Jude), 2014

The Geraces (Jude), 2014

  Primaries, 2012

Primaries, 2012

  Plans, 2013

Plans, 2013

  Still Life with Trophy & Duck Sauce, 2010

Still Life with Trophy & Duck Sauce, 2010

  Still Life with Real, Fake, and Dyed Flowers, 2010

Still Life with Real, Fake, and Dyed Flowers, 2010

  Dalia, 2015

Dalia, 2015

  Mori, 2013

Mori, 2013

  Ham n’ Cheese, 2013

Ham n’ Cheese, 2013

  Fly Tying, 2012

Fly Tying, 2012

  Flies, 2013

Flies, 2013

 Perch, 2015

Perch, 2015

  Floral Arrangement with Orange and Column, 2015

Floral Arrangement with Orange and Column, 2015

  Library, 2012

Library, 2012

  Portafilter, 2013

Portafilter, 2013

  Sgt. Bone, 2013

Sgt. Bone, 2013