Kristleifur Björnsson’s image based work is constructed both around his original photography and also images found on the Internet and in other public media. His subject is typically a beautiful woman; anonymous women that he seems to come across in his every day life and capture with his camera but also world famous actresses posing for other photographers. Both take on the question of the power of images, what role they have in our lives and how they seem to demand our immediate reaction. There is a distinct play with notions of reality and fiction within the images themselves, but authenticity on the receiving end is also part of Björnsson’s investigation. Fantasy, nostalgia and desire are strong motivations in his work, further developed in his artistic endeavor in textiles. Björnsson creates pictures from scratch, takes them from another source, traces them with a pencil, blows them up to an incredible size or mounts them together in collages. As much as his work seems to point to the artist’s obsession with the women in the pictures, the images as such are rather what occupies his mind and the proposition that they may have a life or consciousness of their own. The popular culture industry bombards us continually with fantasy figures of desire and Björnsson confronts them head-on, changing the power dynamics at play from passive consumer to active receiver. His aim to explore the human condition through the banality of desirable images reveals the complex relationship between pleasure, spectacle, popular culture, and contemporary art.
Kristleifur Björnsson studied at HGB – Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, Germany,
under the guidance of professor Timm Rautert and graduated in 2003.
He was born in Reykjavík in 1973 and currently lives in Berlin.
Solo Exhibitions | Selected
2011 « The Nest », Gallery Poulsen, Copenhagen / Denmark.
2009 « My Shannyn », Gallerí Gangur, Reykjavík / Iceland.
2008 « Hlíðar / Slopes », Skaftfell, Seyðisfjörður / Iceland.
2005 « Mindi ; my indian flower », Asmundarsalur / Iceland.
2003 « My Girlfriend Natalie », HGB, Leipzig / Germany.
2001 « Hlidar / Berghaenge », HGB, Leipzig / Germany..
Group Exhibitions | Selected
2011 « Leipzig Fotografie, seit 1839 », Museum der bildenden Kunste, Leipzig / Germany.
2010 « Ruanveruleikatékk / Reality Check », Reykjavik Artfair, Reykjavik City Center, Reykjavík / Iceland.
2010 « Berlin Transfer », Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum fuer moderne kunst, Berlin / Germany.
2009 « Zeigen », Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin, Berlin / Germany.
2009 « Master Class of Prof. Timm Rautert », Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig / Germany.
2008 « Street & Studio », Fotomuseum Volkwang Essen, Essen / Germany.
2008 « Mindi ; My Indian Flower », Steirischer Herbst, Art Festival, Graz / Austria.
2008 « Street & Studio », Tate Modern, London / England.
2007 « Forschen und Erfinden », Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur / Switzerland.
2007 « Update », Stalke Galleri, Kirke Sonnerup / Denmark.
2007 « Ohne Schatten », Galerie Eigen + Art, Leipzig / Germany.
2006 « Vor aller Augen », Festival, Bâtiment d'art, Genf / Schweiz.
2005 « My Shannyn », Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles / France.
2004 « Synd & Hljod », Klink og Bank, Reykjavík / Iceland.
2003 « Silver & Gold », Essen - Dresden - Glückstadt - Wolfsburg / Germany.
2002 « Artists of the Gallery », Gallery 20.21, Essen / Germany.
2001 « United Cantonas Fan Club », HGB Leipzig / Germany.
1998 « Accumulator #1 », Leipzig / Germany.
1996 « Back Flash », Leipzig / Germany.
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