"I delight in creating abstract works with objective text content, It's a bit like someone hard of sight putting on spectacles going from blurred to focused."
Contemporary artist Nick Smith creates pixelated works with hand-placed colour-chips, synonymous with colour swatches, cleverly combining text and image to create intriguing and provocative collaged works.
With a previous career in Interior Design spanning 11 years, Nick references his concept design background throughout his work, reworking the design aesthetic using unique colour swatches in hand-made collages, placing his work firmly in the fine art category. From his first collage experiment back in 2011 of Warhol’s ‘Marilyn’, when he assembled a tessellation of swatches as a challenge, this eventually inspired his career as an artist and determined his unique style he is now known for.
The multi-layered element of his work, which marries image and word, allows Nick to explore complex art-historical concepts. The text employed is often narrative, referring to Greek mythology or classical literature, which can be read in sequence adding another element of intrigue and interest to the work. This additional element of text, placed under the empty space of each swatch, creates either complimentary or subversive meanings. Nick deliberately leaves these word/image constructions open to viewer interpretation, sparking new debates and meanings.
Each P-series (Psycolourgy 2015, Paramour 2016, Parlance 2017, Priceless 2018, Pinched 2019, Purgatory 2019, Pioneers 2020) explores intricately researched concepts, which are always the crucial starting point for each new series of work. Producing large-scale works to micro-chip collages, and multiple sell out print editions, Nick continues to push the boundaries of collage with new subjects and experimentation, forging a unique visual aesthetic.