My name is Nick Simko and I am an artist and educator based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My photographic imaging practice utilizes figurative imagery to navigate cultural processes of identity formation. Photography is the foundation of my interdisciplinary practice because, out of all image-making processes, it is the most suspect, the most utilized, and the most debated. The identity of photography is never fully solidified, and in its ubiquity it is constantly changing form. In my work I parallel this idea by exploring the many ways in which photographic imagery might be applied, and how this process parallels and overlaps with the multi-dimensional politics of identity-formation. I utilize figurative imagery as a way to address how, in this cultural moment, representations of body function as sites upon which culture projects, incises, and embeds its ideals. My work is a reaction to the benefits and consequences of the categorical systems and cultural processes that inform exactly how identity is understood through contemporary portraiture. At the same time, my commitment to exploring unexpected approaches in my practice functions as a means to imagine possibilities that exist elsewhere.
Simko’s work has been exhibited at museums and galleries throughout the United States including The Vizcaya Museums and Gardens, The Walters Art Museum, The University of New Mexico Art Museum, Sanitary Tortilla Factory, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, and Hillyer Arts Space. Simko is a 2018 recipient of the Van Deren Coke Fellowship in Photography from the University of New Mexico. Simko holds an MFA in Photography from the University of New Mexico, as well as a BFA in Art History, Theory & Criticism from the Maryland Institute College of Art.