Growing up on a dairy farm in rural Ontario, Nicholas Crombach was obsessed with capturing small critters and building cages and enclosures. The amusement these activities provided him was always accompanied by a sense of shame.
Crombach's artwork operates as an investigation into the paradoxical relationship humans have with the “natural world”, particularly the animal world. In his work, Crombach juxtaposes domestic objects, human figures, and animals to create visual representations of the complexity of human nature. Having engaged with subjects such as the distinction between man and animal and the concept of our animality, he attempts to explore the contradiction between the notions of shame and innocence. The work creates confusion on several levels and “meaning” is generated in the process of “sorting things out.”
Working in sculpture, Crombach sees his work within a particular sculptural tradition, relying on the history of representation. Braiding tradition with a contemporary facet, the work is conceptually layered, carrying a serious tone that is revealed through hints of humor.
Nicholas Crombach is a visual artist working primarily in sculpture. In 2012 he graduated from OCAD University’s Sculpture and Installation program. He has since continued his practice exhibiting work in a variety of gallery exhibitions, project spaces, and sculpture gardens. Crombach was awarded the Hayden Davies Memorial award and the Samuel Lazar Kagan award from OCAD University, an Abraham & Malka Green award, a BMO 1st nomination, and in 2013 his sculpture, Man with child’s Bow and Arrows, was preselected for the Figurativas 13 exhibition at the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona. In 2012, Crombach was the selected winner of a First Capital Realty public commission. The entitled work, Billy, Nanny and the Kids is located in Appleby Village, Burlington, Ontario.