Steve Nyktas is an Indianapolis-based artist and an Associate Professor of Art at Butler University. He earned his MFA from Northwestern University, an MA from Purdue University, and his BFA from Albion College. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at galleries, museums, and alternative spaces including Contemplo MX (San Miguel, Mexico), Coconino Center for the Arts (Flagstaff, AZ), Dorsky Gallery (New York, NY), Gallery Four (Baltimore, MD), Rowland Contemporary Gallery (Chicago, IL), FLAT (Chicago, IL) and The 22nd International Festival Sarajevo (Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina). Distinctions include the Phillip C. Curtis Visiting Artist Award and the Morton Mickenberg / Martin Sosin Graduate Student Fellowship.
Artist Statement
My work as an artist is based in conceptual and abstract photography, with a particular interest in the intersections between domestic and natural spaces. I rely on conceptual strategies and the indexical nature of photography to help me observe a version of the everyday that exists just beneath consciousness, otherwise visible only out of the corner of my eye. I utilize conceptual practices to generate work, setting simple tasks and processes that yield unexpected results, constant surprises, and sometimes highly abstract work; a model leads to discovery, both for me and the viewer.
My process typically starts with ordinary experiences and found objects. Simple moments sometimes stand out and demand focused attention, whether it’s a spider crawling on my front door, or planes carving paths through the dark sky above my home. Found objects can become imbued with meaning by turning them inside out, melting them, or just dropping them on the floor; impulsive, ephemeral acts that seek to reverse, reveal, or twist. Wedging my camera lens underneath the furniture in my home to capture the undersides of things or cutting holes in bottles and containers so that I can photograph their interiors; gestures of exploration, as well as introspection.
I often see my work within psychological terms, but it also examines connections with the environment, and investigates the nature of images. Photography offers so many great powers: the simple act of seeing becomes experience and knowledge. I find myself drawn to uncertainty, reversals, and inversions; to stare directly at the parts of my surroundings that begin out of focus.
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