May FEATURED Artist: Nicholas Conlon
2 May, 2019
The enduring impression of Nicholas Conlon is rawness, likely given to him by a turbulent upbringing. He says that what makes him different as an artist is his versatility – his creative exploits cover being an actor (his first paid theatre gig involved full frontal nudity), poet, stand-up comedian, designer, filmmaker, political graffitist and artist. He likes to give his paintings ironic and funny names, often times feeling the names are even better than the painting.
In this article we’re covering his ‘Wildflower series’ which ties in with his recent collaboration with the Mercury Theatre in Chicago where he covered the entire entranceway with ‘Flowers eating flowers’ called the ‘Space Garden.’ An art installation in support of their latest production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.
The show is open now through June 30th 2019 and you can view a video of the exhibit here. The idea is that having seen the play, theatre goers can take home a little piece of it with one of the canvases he has created.
Nicholas’ work is beautiful from afar but up close it’s dirty, torn, ripped and non-conforming. It’s meant to be touched, felt and talked about. It’s not one theme or style and comprises various mediums. You can see him in his studio in the making of Wildflowers No.1 in this video
Nicholas’ materials include cotton, linen, celluloid, wood, paper, brass, ivory, oil, steel, rubber, ink and recycled materials. His subjects are often animals, political graffiti, and sport, such as his series of recycled, broken basketball backboards.
One of his defining moments as an artist was In 2003 around the time the USA went to war when he painted his first series; ‘Blood for Money’ incorporating anti war imagery.
Nicholas says he was was completely against the war. ‘I did street art and graffiti and made paintings. I pounded the pavement in Chicago and LA going from gallery to gallery asking if they’d show my work – I found Gallery 1633 in Chicago’s Wicker Park Neighbourhood who took me on right away and showed my first series a month later.’
Nicholas sees success as not just having sold multiple art pieces all over the world, but also in the making of a feature film and award winning short films.
His art can be found in private collections, restaurants, on the streets of LA and Chicago and all over the internet. He’s been part of group exhibitions and solo shows in Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami. Nicholas’ biggest enjoyment in making art is criticism of his work because, as he says, ‘you know you got their attention and you got them thinking… You did it! That’s the goal, that’s success.’
Going forward, the artist is looking to do more large scale murals. The outside of large buildings and the interior design of institutions and hotels.