Nuwarhol is a Jamaican born artist infusing images with electric colors and popular culture inspired symbolism. He uses design and illustration combined with Pop Art and Graffiti influences to tell personal stories within his work.
Hey Nu, where are you based and how long have you been painting?
I’m currently based in Queens, New York and started painting when I moved here 6 years ago from Kingston, Jamaica.
You say you want to share your stories. How important is personal narrative within your work?
I think personal narrative is very important, not only for the creators like myself, but also for the viewers. They say a photo is worth a thousand words, and I think with a painting, you can experience a thousand worlds. When looking at a piece, viewers sees a unique narrative based on their experiences and perspectives. Personal narratives are what make the world so amazing, because we all have stories that connect us to each other. I just hope to inspire others to brighten up their realities by inviting them into my color-filled world.
Nuwarhol is a name that comes with its own links to art history. How much of an influence is Andy Warhol on what you do?
I’ve always admired the consumer-centric giant, Andy Warhol. To me, his greatest insight was in the manufacturing of art. By making it a valuable but affordable commodity, he allowed so many people to see that art is all around us. This is something I want to do with my art as well.
The name Nuwarhol is my way of articulating my conflict between love and lust, as further represented by the heart and dollar sign in my logo. It reminds me to always stay grounded and never sacrificie my passion and vision for my desire to profit from my work.
Portraiture is a big part of your work. What attracts you to painting people?
As I mentioned earlier, everyone has a story to tell, and I think faces provide clues of and glimpses into those stories. I enjoy interpreting them, adding a narrative, and admiring the beauty I see.
Some of your work can be quite political. What role do you think politics plays in art, or vice versa?
I think they both fuel one another and play roles in influencing the masses. For me personally, creating political pieces is a way of sharing my voice and perspective. I don’t necessarily care whether it is shared point of view, I just aim to provoke thoughts and get the conversation started.
You produce work as Nuwarhol and Nick Anglin. Is there a different between a Nuwarhol and a Nick Anglin piece of work?
Yes, there is a difference. Nick Anglin, is an Art Director in the ad world whose focus is content creation and brand development. Meanwhile, Nuwarhol is the artist within me who is free to explore.
Your style is characterized by exciting pops of color. Have you ever painted anything more sombre or wanted to?
Honestly, nah…My inspiration often comes from fashion, music, Pop Culture, and my Caribbean roots. By infusing images with vivid colors, I want viewers to step inside a vibrant world and take note of the beauty that surrounds them on a daily basis. With that said, I don’t think sombre is my style.
You paint commissions which can lead to weird and wonderful experiences. What’s the strangest commission request you’ve had?
Funnily enough, working with you on the new AR face paint update has been the strangest commission to date. I’ve never painted on my face like that before, and I must say, I really enjoyed using the AR technology.
What is on the horizon for Nuwarhol?
More art and deeper stories are on the horizon. I have a few big projects in the works, but you’ll just have to wait and see what they are. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much I do.
What’s your favorite Procreate feature, and what do you enjoy about using it?
My favorite procreate feature is the ability to create custom brushes. I use this feature in all my work to create textures and bring my pieces to life.
If you could add one feature to Procreate what would it be?
If I could add any feature to Procreate, it would probably be automatic cloud storage. I’m always afraid that my work will disappear if I forget to transfer my files or my iPad crashes, which actually happened.