WELCOME TO DAVID NICHOLLS' ART HOMEPAGE
Hi, I'm David Nicholls, a visual artist working in Wellington, New Zealand. Here are what I consider my best paintings of recent years (if you like writing, there's more after the paintings).
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn nnnnnn Moon-girl, Earth-sail, Sun-ocean.
nnnnnnnnnnn nnnn n Pumice-head with Skyscraper-cocoon. nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn Many Hearted-head Explorer Protected by Pa.
.....................................Hot Love. Lava State House. nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn nnnnnnnnnn nn Leap from Desolation to Florishing.
Although people often find surrealist the most convenient label for my art I don't see this as entirely accurate, especially not surreal in the strict sense of the word meaning from dreams and the subconscious. Ideas do just come to me, presumably from the subconscious, but reasoning is at least as important to me in the creative process. I think the subconscious and conscious interplay in the creation of my art as they do in a great deal of human activity. I suspect to fetishize one over the other, as the Surrealists tended to do, is probably foolhardy (of course this would have been a lot less obvious back in the days of Breton and co).
My work gets its' look more from an attitude that visual experience can be broken down into "bits" which can then be treated like words, recombined to make new sentences and new meanings (this probably originated from making found-object assemblages while studying at Purdue University and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago years ago, I just prefer to do it in paint (mostly)). In developing my style I've also borrowed from other aspects of language. For some time I consciously experimented with using poetic devices, especially metaphor, visually.
Some of my other influences have been Egyptian art, including hieroglyphics(for me almost a half-way point between art and language), and "avant-garde" composers such as Stockhausen, Boulez, Nono and Berio, the sheer complexity of their work inspires as much as anything, although I also love their conscious playing with the building blocks of musical language.
I am interested in art that either represents the social ideals of society or offers different ones. Examples of this would be TV cop shows (even if you don't like gun product placement, great social ideals are often placed in association with it in a way quintessential to our age in such shows) religious temples from traditional cultures, or the music of Beethoven. Joseph Beuys is perhaps my most loved example from the cotemporary-modernist art context.
The main social ideal I tried to embody in these paintings was 'unity in diversity' or 'uniformity amidst variety'. This has a long history as an aesthetic ideal. I also see it as a social ideal exemplified in things like the division of labour or the melting pot. These things aren't always easy of course, at times they are hell, which is why I think art needs to help out just as it did with religion in the past. I see the way (images of) previously unrelated things come together to form a new meaningful whole in the paintings as analogous to a good division of labour or melting pot. Perhaps it is a little understated, I didn't want to be too preachy.
At present I am working with some different social ideals and a different context for the art, so watch this space.
Questions, comments, suggestions, :
Note: Some of my earlier paintings, including those below, were sold under the name David Nicol. Photos of paintings: Sam Stocker (above), Pablos Studios (below).
Diamond-head Friends. NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNnnnn Home of Wilderness.