Sejkko is a self-taught emergent art photographer from Portugal. He is known for his ‘Lonely Houses’ — digitally altered photographs that tell a story about the lost ownership of personal evolution. The message stands in a time when many people are being coerced to align with one of two poles in almost every variable of their lives, giving themselves in return to belonging, surviving or both. In his first works, a single house is always the central subject. Often painted with some vibrant colours reminiscent of the Tropical Venezuela where Sejkko grew up. The typical backdrops for the lonely houses are ethereal, crystalline, pastel blue skies, used to represent the knowledge of a much larger network of which every house is a part. In the works that make the first released — Debut — collection, birds, antennae and windows often play the role of wires connecting the elements of this large network in specific ways that tell a part of the story.
Initial works include The House of Vintage Video Games (2015) that speaks about a home to escape into, to hide in, and become unreachable. A place to forget that the world outside keeps moving. A more recent work called the Arctic Sun (2016), reflects on a post healing process, in which the main character finally finds peace. Sejkko’s path as an artist began in 2012, when he started to capture images with a mobile phone, and manipulating them using very basic mobile apps. Soon after that, he began experimenting with professional digital cameras, learning photography, and digital manipulation. Nowadays his favourite tools are analog medium format cameras. High-quality negative or slide scans are the main sources for his digital compositions. While initially influenced by the classical Surrealist painters, Sejkko refuses to see his work classified as Surrealism. His compositions seek the possibility of existence in the real world, even if they feel a little supernatural. This would grant Sejkko’s work what he considers a fairer classification in the genre of (visual) Magical Realism.
In Sejkko’s own words:
I have always been interested in looking for ‘more’ in what most people refer to as the ‘ordinary reality’. As a young child growing up in Venezuela, I remember focusing all my intent on trying to see beyond the golden sparkles of the sun at dusk; to hear the ‘source of the source’ behind the parrots songs; to draw diagrams describing the smell of a flower at the molecular level: to cut it in half, and half again, and again. To open up the universe inside an atom and at least have a subjective experience of the laws that govern it. Being exposed to all the literature of Magic Realism at a very young age only amplified this intent, and thus also this intense search for the ‘magical’ in the ‘every day’. My development as a child led me later to seeking an understanding of how nature processes information, as a scientist. But also, as an artist, to transferring to my photos and paintings that extra thing, which, when perceived, brings magical elements clearly into one’s perception. When choosing my scientific path, I clearly remember telling my grandfather that I wanted to understand how the guava tree knows it is time to make flowers, and how those bananas we picked from the field got brown spots as time passed. Something in me was convinced that finding those answers would help me feel more ‘at home’.
The first formal collection of works by Sejkko is called Debut (released January, 2017). Some of the work leading to this collection was presented in a group exhibit called Concept Home. This exhibition was organised in the spring of 2016, and curated by Anna Mola, as a satellite event to the Venice Bienale.
Visually, Sejkko cites Wes Anderson, Loretta Lux, and Michel Gondry as influences for the Debut collection. More recently photographers such as Harry Gruyaert, and William Eggleston, are sources he visits very frequently for inspiration.
Sejkko is currently preparing a follow-up collection called Epilogue.