kristleifur björnsson


Kristleifur Björnsson (b.1973) lives and works in Reykjavik. Kristleifur did his studies at HGB – Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, Germany under the guidance of prof . Timm Rautert until graduating with excellence in 2003. Kristleifur has exhibited widely in central Europe and Iceland in the last years. He recently participated in Street and Studio, an extensive exhibition on urban history of photography at TATE modern in London and Fotomuseum Volkwang in Essen, Germany

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 has several exhibition through Stalke Galleri from 2006.