Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer is a photographic artist whose practice is informed by an experimental approach to early photographic processes and her interest in the materiality of the photographic medium.
Focusing primarily on wet plate collodion, Nadezda is recontextualizing the historic process, traditionally used for portraits and landscape photography, by creating cameraless image-objects. The photogram as a medium allows her to search for the essence by employing simplicity and abstraction.
Her process begins with daily walks in the nearby redwood forest overlooking the San Francisco Bay, where she observes and connects with the landscape. She distills the gleaned information into sketches which she then translates into tintype photograms (single panels, diptychs, and polyptychs) created by placing paper cutouts on sensitized collodion film and making an exposure in darkroom conditions. She invites process artifacts manually and photochemically by employing brushes, spray bottles, cliché verre, and by manipulating chemical composition of the materials and processing duration. This is the performative aspect of image-making where chance comes into play. The artifacts add texture and depth, creating moods and atmospheres that place the work in conversation with painting and graphic arts.
Nadezda studied historic processes at George Eastman Museum with Mark Osterman and at the University of Kentucky. She was a finalist for the 2018 LensCulture Exposure Awards and is represented by HackelBury Fine Art. She lives and works in Oakland, California.