Nick Ostoff’s work explores the ways in which quotidian space is transformed through memory, absence, the mechanics of photographic representation, and the process of painting. For the past few years, Ostoff has been focusing on spaces within the urban landscape. He is particularly interested in certain elements within these spaces – such as parking lots, subway platforms, sidewalks and high-rise buildings – that are so ubiquitous that they have become almost imperceptible. Working from his own photographic source material allows him to highlight these overlooked elements, and through the act of painting, he is able to diminish the spatial and temporal specificity of the photographic source. With his recent work, Ostoff continues to explore these spaces, yet by reducing tonal gradations, removing almost all details, altering colour, and cropping the imagery, they are placed on the cusp of reductivist abstraction.
Toronto-based Nick Ostoff graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design in 1999. Since then, he has shown extensively throughout Canada and the United States and was a semifinalist in the 2005 RBC painting competition. Ostoff’s work is included in important corporate and public collections including: Royal Bank of Canada, Osler Hoskin and Harcourt, Kleinfeldt Mychjlowycz Architects, McCarthy Tetrault, Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Queen’s University) and Doris McCarthy Gallery (University of Toronto).