Nick Mittelstead

Contact Information


Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.

Eigenrosa (a man sees god in his car he crashes)

Eigenrosa is an endless generative video replicating the experience of having one’s eyes closed while in the sun.

Recent Works

Provenance and its Melt Series

Provenance and its Melt is a series of twenty photogravures depicting Manuel Granero Valls’s final bullfight during which he was gored through his left eye and killed. Dozens of photos of Valls’s 1922 final fight exist in popular circulation, in academic archives, and in print media; however, the image of the moment of his goring only appears to have come into existence in 2019; originating on a Russian image sharing website. Provenance and its Melt is the first inclusion of this dubious, violent image into Valls’s visual narrative.

Artist's Biography

Nick Mittelstead is an artist based in Philadelphia. He received an MFA in Studio Art and an MA in History and Theory of Contemporary Art from The San Francisco Art Institute and a BS in Studio Art from Skidmore College. He has exhibited work in the US and internationally.

Artist's Statement

Media produces reality. News and social media shape agendas, devotion, and outrage. Literary and film media perpetuate mythologies and prescribe them onto the world. Contemporary art media, too, imparts ideology onto audiences. Unsurprisingly, there exists broad latitude within media to reproduce reality using lies. At best, these altered realities are helpful and discrete, such as losing oneself in a story, and at worst they spread hysterically to our detriment, such as in state-run media. My aim in my work is not to reproduce this binary of helpful/discrete versus exploitative/hysteric, but rather to explore this tension by complicating the practice of lying. Through exploring materiality, my work examines the nebulous reality production of lying, historical revisionism, and cognitive dissonance.

Material-specific lying offers a unique avenue for complicating the practice of lying by situating lies in plain sight. Photogravure places digitally altered images in ink and paper’s reality, but is discernably fake. Ballistics gelatin and tallow falsify human flesh, but are recognizably not flesh. Video and sound present a simulacrum of reality, but are sub-real on screens and speakers. Such material explorations of lies assume ends that are indistinct, morally fraught, and an alternative means of interpreting our past, present, and future.

Selected Exhibitions

SPRING/BREAK Art Fair, New York, NY


Mudhouse Closing Exhibition, Crete, Greece

Black & White, Fusion Art, online exhibition

Printin', St. Louis Artists' Guild, St. Louis, MO

Objects, CICA Museum, South Korea

Clay & Wood, West Hartford Art League, West Hartford, CT
Best in Show

SFAI MFA Exhibition, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA

SFAI MFA Exhibition, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA

The Murphy Cadogan Award Show, SOMArts, San Francisco, CA

Lightly Heavy, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco, CA

On Blue, Swell Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Assembling/Deassembling, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Relief Efforts, Shoestring Press, New York, NY

Professional Experience

The Mudhouse Residency, Agios Ioannis, Crete
Instructor, Summer

Awards & Residencies

Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Hyattsville, MD
Keyholder Residency

San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
Distinction in Scholarship, Master of Arts Thesis Award

San Francisco, CA
Edwin Anthony & Adalaine Boudreaux Cadogan Scholar

Mudhouse Residency, Agio Ionnis, Crete
Resident Artist


San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
MA, History and Theory of Contemporary Art, Honors

San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
MFA, Studio Art

Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
BS, Studio Art, Cum Laude