Mind the Gap Nils Nova

What’s wrong with this picture? For that matter, there is something just a bit off about … all of these photographs. Captured digitally and transferred to canvas, these landscapes range from speculative to entirely real reproductions.

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Mind the Gap Nils Nova 2
Nils Nova Im Gegenlicht
Nils Nova Im Gegenlicht 2

Nils Nova may be a sculptor in theory, photographer in practice and an artist in reality, but at heart he is clearly part architect – his work plays over and over again on themes of space, depth, light and distance. Look at them the wrong way you and might even bump into a wall, presuming it to be a continuation of the area you are actually in.

Nils Nova Grosser Saal
Nils Nova Shadow Ahead 2
Nils Nova Shadow ahead

Not every photo is made to be a complete trick – some are obviously bordered or framed, but nonetheless force the mind to go back and forth between perception and physical reality thanks to the illusions involved.

Nils Nova Oppostion of Memory
Nils Nova Opposition of Memory 2
Nils Nova Minus 90

Other pieces by Nova toy with familiar household objects and notions of up, down and side to side, using real sculptural elements in addition to printed canvas surfaces. Of course, these pictures are just copies of copies shot at specific angles. To gain the full effect, one really has to walk between these mural-covered walls and experience the cognitive dissonance for oneself.

“Nils Nova is an artist based in Luzern, Switzerland, but born in El Salvador. He can be considered a master of ‘trompe-l’oeil’. In his performances and installations, he always triggers the viewer into a play where nothing seems what it really is. He can appear as a look-a-like of Luis Buñuel or Elvis Presley. Or change the museum space into a real remake of a Dr Caligari set. With the performance D.E.A.D. and the installation Kaleidoscope – Cross, Nils Nova will be opening the series Someone Walking Around. The numerous competitions and exhibitions in which he has participated include the Venice Biennale 2009 and the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2014.”