As people that interact with technology, we are familiar with the transgressions from physical to digital. We see it with real books turning into e-Books, the way that we document our lives on social media instead of journals or in physical photo albums.
St.Louis based artist Nick Schleicher believes that these technologies should be used as tools for creation and not the end-all-be-all. In his recent exhibition, Synthesizer at Hoffman LaChance Contemporary Gallery he explores this idea through his abstract paintings.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Nick and getting the opportunity to talk about everything that has led his work to the point where it is now. He didn’t always have this abstracted style, he began as more of a perceptual, technique based painter. After graduating from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, friends began moving away, but they still maintained contact on the internet and through Instagram. Keeping one another up to date with what they were working on through photographs and messages. “These people that I once shared a studio space with now have become the ones who influence the work that I am making today, we are all working very similarly in terms of concept as well as in the application of paint.” Working as a studio assistant under Philip Hanson really pushed Nick to start creating things outside of his comfort zone. For a short time he was creating sculptures of exact replications of physical and technological objects while eliminating their function.
These interactions with new mediums, and his friends online are what drove his thinking for the Synthesizer exhibition. “I fell in love with the act of making these sculptures, and carried that process back into my paintings by getting inspired by pictures on Instagram and what was on the screen. Taking colors from pictures of sunsets, extracting the colors on my iPad and then doing drawings of color gradations and little moments of intimacies that I thought were interesting. Take that drawing and put it into a painting again. Its still informed by digital devices but its not ending there.”