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All photos © Nico Krijno

Nothing Secret About Nico Krijno

Photographer/filmmaker from Cape Town snaps breathtaking photos of his muse and girlfriend against South African landscapes

South African-born artist, photographer and filmmaker Nico Krijno started experimenting with cameras since he was only ten-years-old. Using mostly analogue cameras, he often shoots his muse and girlfriend, giving a deeply intimate feeling to his imagery, focusing on a timeless and minimal style, where he eschews the super-glossy perfection typical of hedonistic fashion photography. Flitting between Cape Town and London, Krijno is currently working on his first solo show and on a monogram ‘On How to Fill Those Gaps’… and has shot for the likes of Nike, Chroma Mag and Dazed & Confused...

Dazed Digital: What attracts you to the medium of photography?
Nico Krijno: I’m into imagery and moods more than the idea of 'photography' as a fixed genre. I'm not very comfortable with categories generally. Photography is certainly more instant than the other mediums I use to tell stories - films and music.  I live in South Africa, a bizarrely magical country.  Wherever you turn, something strange and beautiful unfolds. The biggest influence on my work is definitely my girlfriend. She has great instinct - and she pushes me to do whatever I want.  In the beginning I didn't really have the confidence to see my ideas through.  So that was a big leap, being encouraged to just have a vision and go with it all the way, even if other people don't get it at first. I work with her more than any other subject. She's my muse.

DD: Any other photographers you admire?
Nico Krijno: To be honest, film and music inspires me as much as other photographers work, but there are a few fellow snappers I like: Araki, Tillmans, Larry Clark, Kubrick, Josef Koudelka, Lee Friedlander, Keith Arnatt and, of course, Helmut Newton.

DD: Any dream subjects you'd love to photograph?
Nico Krijno: David Lynch. I prefer shooting people I admire, or am somehow connected to or inspired by, be it a lover, a sibling, or friends. I try to photograph people the way I perceive them. There’s a certain directness in the way I operate - I try to let people be the way they are and just capture that. I think I have the ability to perceive a person’s core quite easily. I scratch away the glamorous veneer, and get to the bone, to the raw, animal part.  I’m really not interested in smoke and mirrors. I’m more interested in the truth.

DD: What are you working on at the moment?
Nico Krijno: I’m working on a show ‘Is Nothing Secret Anymore’ that will feature photographs, film and sound.

DD: What is the current thread that runs through your images?
Nico Krijno: Movement. There’s a thread of love and a sense of humour running through it, though it may sometimes seem cynical and dark. The photos I most enjoy are raw as well as magical, containing a certain dirty realism.

DD: What's next for you?
Nico Krijno: A road trip. I’m moving to Johannesburg for a while as a kind of experiment to see how it influences my work. I’m very inspired by new places and thrive on change in my life. I’m also working on a music and film project with a friend, so I guess I’ll lock myself in a room for a while... but I'll take my camera!