To the question, “what is art?” then, one might respond by declaring that art is beautiful, art is expressive, art is original, intellectual evocative, uplifting and revolutionary. Nick Anglin’s Nuwarhol encompasses all of these traits and much more, fluently and boldly conceptualizing a new definition of “art.”
JAmusic: Two years ago, you moved from Jamaica to New York, two starkly contrasting settings. In what ways can we see traces of both of these cultures in your pieces?
NW: Well New York helped to develop my style by adding some grit, and sometimes my subject. But I never allow my space to affect my ideas. My ideas are usually based on music and juxtaposition of culture and pop culture.
JAmusic: What would you say has been the most challenging part of making a name for yourself in your field?
NW: The most difficult part about creating a name in my field is getting connected with the right people. I've always worked in the more commercial realm of art, but now I'm consciously making an effort to transform my aesthetic into fine art.
JAmusic: As a creative individual, you have to be faithful to your own vision, to art and self-expression. Have you ever been faced with a situation where your artistic morality was challenged? If so, how did you handle it?
NW: It's funny you ask that. Commercial art is usually restricting. Sometimes you have to stray from your personal artistic vision, and you become disconnected from the work. For this reason, I've always done side projects that allow me to utilize and showcase my own creative style.
JAmusic: What would you say has been the biggest risk you’ve taken artistically?
NW: The biggest risk I've taken artistically is sharing my art. That was a real problem I had to overcome. I was never confident in that.
JAmusic: Your work appears to draw from several influences: from urban graffiti/street art aesthetic to traditional painting and drawing. Could you make mention of the particular style of designing you do?
NW: I've always been influenced by street art. There is a form of freedom that it allows. I've also been influenced by the works of Andy Warhol, which are a mixture of graphic design and screen-printing, and Keith Haring, who emerged from this art form and made an effort to bring it into the fine art world. Through my fusion of popular culture, street art, music, and fashion, I aim to create pieces that evoke a sense of nostalgia. Nostalgia brings a deep-rooted like or dislike when it comes to aesthetic, and I love playing with that sense of [connectivity]. I aim to make people rediscover their senses.
JAmusic: What inspires you on a daily basis to do the work that you do?
NW: I always try to listen to feedback from friends. I have some pretty honest friends who will give constructive criticism.
JAmusic: What is the creative process like that you take in order to bring your work from an idea to actuality?
NW: I normally scribble my idea on a piece of paper then in a book, and move to the next idea. I just get all my ideas on paper then pick pieces from what I like or feel is interesting enough to explore.
JAmusic: Andy Warhol was known for his work that drew parallels to artistic expressions and celebrity/pop culture. How do you define your moniker Nuwarhol and what led to you settling on such a compelling name?
NW: The name Nuwarhol was based on a valuation of the work I've done in the past and how I could transform my aesthetic. I've always believed in re-creating oneself, so I chose to use the prefix "Nu." I then chose “Warhol,” as he evokes a sense of popular culture-- a personal nostalgia. On the other hand, my moniker also represents a fusion of additional ideas: to explore the artistic abyss of my surroundings (NU), to depict a state of mind armed with conflict or shrouded with joy (WAR), and to leave me high in life with art as the fuse (HOL), hence, the name Nuwarhol.
JAmusic: Besides the obvious influence of Andy Warhol in your pieces, would you agree that your work pulls from that of Jean-Michel Basquiat? What other artists, if any, do you draw inspiration from?
NW: I actually know quite a bit about Basquiat and Warhol, and in fact, got re-inspired by watching hours of documentaries and reading about the two of them. If you want to be like the greats, you have to study them, right? What I particularly loved about their relationship was that Warhol's style was very mechanical, while Basquiat's was very expressive. This allowed for multiple conversations and inspirations. A mixture of these styles is translated in my pieces through my use of lines, colours, and subject choices.
JAmusic: There are varying views dictating what constitutes as “creative.” For some, it's important that an artist has an underlying message. What message do you hope to communicate to your audience?
NW: A sense of subtle power has always been something that I try to depict in my art. There is a form of beauty in power and love. If you love yourself, you believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, anything is possible. That's always my message - to believe in “you.”
JAmusic: What is one project you are most proud of and why this particular one?
NW: I am most proud of my Nuwarhol project. It has challenged me to continuously develop as an artist, and on a whole, I believe that it is my best project to date.
JAmusic: What can we next expect from Nuwarhol?
NW: My main goal is to continuously improve as an artist. I hope to ultimately inspire the youth, especially from Jamaica. I want to be an example by showing that, with hard work and determination, your passions can take you places.
JAmusic: What would you say is the purpose of your artistic journey?
NW: My artistic journey started as a very personal one. I used it to teach myself to believe in me, to have purpose, to be patient, and to be consistent. I've always felt that I've created but never sustained a project or concept long enough to explore and exploit it fully. Realizing this, I am now continuously trying to develop my art and myself. My message is, and will always be, to believe in yourself and be alive - take action to achieve your dreams. You will only seriously pursue a dream when you believe in yourself and your destiny.