'After a day of football, a gymnast would be bruised. After a day of gymnastics, a football player would be dead.'
Gymnastics in many ways, parallels great photography with its focus on both movement and hold. Great gymnasts must have the ability to fly through the air during a floor routine, hit the vault and leap into the air and create wide, majestic circles with their bodies while twisting and turning on the horizontal bars and rings.
With each of the gymnastic disciplines, whether it be rings, floor, vault or bars, gymnasts must find the strength to freeze movements and come to abrupt stops during all the running, moving and twisting that is going on. It is not an easy task to channel energy that is one one second, pushing your body into frenzied movement, to then in a split second later, channel that same energy to keep your body completely still.
There is a reason the rings are called steady or still rings. The purpose of movement whilst doing a routine on the rings, is to navigate from one hold position, the most well known being the iron cross, into another moment of stillness. This discipline is one skilled visual artists are very familiar with.
London based artist Nicolai Kornum knows how to capture moments of powerful strength and movement with complete stillness. The photographer and videographer's training in the visual arts (European Film College, Adobe & a degree in Stage Management & Technical Theatre at LAMDA & The London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art.) has given him a uniquely skilled foundation to create strong, colorful and beautifully theatrical captures. To me, the definition of a great artist is not just someone who creates great work, but someone able to create images that have the viewer stop in their tracks. When I first saw images of Nicolai's work with Matheusz Adamow, that is exactly what I did.
In addition to his training, Nicolai honed his visual artistry working for eight year as a 1st Assistant Director on feature films, TV-Dramas & Commercials. Nicolai worked for many directors, among them, Director Niels Arden Oplev ('The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo', 'Under The Dome', 'Unforgettable'), Zentropa Productions (Danish film director Lars Von Trier’s company), Lego Commericals and DR Denmark’s National Broadcast Company ('The Killing', 'Borges', 'The Bridge')
Nicolai has also had extensive experience working on theatre productions including working as a still-photographer for various theatres including; Old Red Lion Theatre, Southwark Playhouse and Young Actors Theatre. Creating a great still from a production is very similar to what Nicolai has achieved in this set of images of Matheusz. Through just one captured moment, the artist must capture the movement and energy of the actors and the scene, conveying to prospective audience members, not just a visual, but the emotions which surround it.
Nicolai Kornum on ModelMayhem