Nicolas Craig, Canadian artist born in 1990, originally from Montreal (Canada) and graduated from UQAM in Visual Art.
There is a guideline to each painting: to highlight the beauty of the human being and its quirks.
With a skilful way of playing with human forms, bodies can be liquefied or stretched. However, there is always a meaning behind this distortion: a positive feeling underlined.
Craig’s art goes beyond bodies. Behind each work, there is a research on the human and its functioning. They appear as symbols such as flowers, butterflies, or pop culture icons.
In general, the works of Nicolas are hidden in the city. He also does visible murals. The works merge in the colors, the urban landscapes as well as the architectures. Playing with street furniture is also trompe l’oeil that aims to be mysterious. He plays with the material, reclaiming the urban space on which he tackles this street furniture.
There is a sculpture dimension while remaining 2D.
The panels are an extension of the painting, to play with, to reflect on it but by being installed in the urban space.
“I do my research around women. The female sex is often portrayed in a context of overabundance of bodies.
These clusters of humans are deconstructed and decontextualized. They are usually juxtaposed with other types of images, which creates friction between the bodies and the sporadic “intruders”.
Whether by fragmentation, superimposition or juxtaposition, I like to mix genres by confronting them with the human figure. The result is a reinterpretation of the female subject with a very personal mix of themes, genres and textures. Whether with pop-culture images, or simply to bring out the organic side of painting, the intertwining of different types of images shapes my creation.
I define myself as a researcher, a fan of painting, and that’s what I’m currently devoting my life to.”
Nicolas observes the hypersexualization, individualism and gamification of the consumption of human relations. Everything is digitized in a world filled with irony and paradox in which the meaning of his life is buried and disappears. The essence of the artist’s works is to put the emphasis back on what really matters: fulfilling oneself in order to be happy, regardless of the label that has been stuck on us by our human condition. In a contemporary and surreal style, his art balances on a fine line filled with dreams and hope.
An artist with strong museum potential, with a career already well established for his young age. A natural entrepreneur with a powerful life energy, he will not stop surprising us over the next few years. Nicolas Craig’s creative process is built first on the basis of a search for lettering, then independently of the paintings, the term chosen takes up more or less space. The importance he attaches to words and letters comes, according to him, from the beginnings of his introduction to the subject: graffiti.
Since his youth, he has maintained a certain fantasy of women, first by idealizing her and then by drawing her, which makes it possible to create a material form of this fantasy. “You try to materialize this fantasy as the culture around you shows you” . Then growing up, he quickly realized the diversity of female body shapes, which later in his career promulgated an attraction for male bodies. Through the staging of the bodies he draws, a bond is created between the man and the woman but also bonds that can sometimes be homosexual.
Most of his paintings, which represent naked women, are an echo as well as a criticism of the use of the image of female bodies to sell objects or services in many industries, in particular in the very popular music videos. of the 2000s.
From this impregnation of pop-culture through the internet and television, his vision of the female body was, according to him, primarily erotic. But today, when he draws female bodies, this eroticism has disappeared regardless of the gender of the body he draws. By making his self-criticism, Nicolas Craig, assumes that he does not represent through his works, the totality of bodily disparities. It is part of a rather uniform aestheticism of the bodies but nevertheless transgenerational. He imitates to better describe by the context in which he places them.
His creative search has allowed him to open his mind as to how to perceive the world around him. It is not a question for him of having a binary view of society, but of also knowing how to grasp the underlying nuance in the situations he encounters.
Also, the choice of the titles of his works are linked to musical compositions that he listens to during the realization of his paintings but also to the titles of books that he particularly appreciated.
Pictorial research and inner quest are Nicolas Craig’s watchwords. Everything will depend on the subjects, but its emblematic element remains exploration.
“We dig in the catacombs of the soul”.