Nicolas Holiber

Making painting sculptural to probe collective psychologies.

Nicolas Holiber (he/him) was born 1985. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, United States.

Career

Holiber received an MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2012 and gained a postgraduate fellowship the following year. During this time he began experimenting with different mediums and processes to blend sculpture and painting into singular works of art

Public Art

The artist has produced numerous public projects over the past decade. In 2019 he created The Audubon Sculpture Project to raise awareness about endangered bird populations. This was one of New York City's largest ever public exhibitions, displaying 10 giant sculptures over 100 blocks in Upper Manhattan.

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Practice overview

In Nicolas Holiber’s art, painting and sculpture blur. As do abstraction and figuration. While his technique is ever-changing, process is the heart of his practice. He is keen to see how far he can push a material to find out what its limits are. With his paintings, Holiber starts by applying a thick acrylic mix onto canvas. Then he uses a range of tools to move the mix around. In his own words, "it's like drawing in 3-D." From these abstract surfaces figures organically emerge. Then, adding more layers of oil paint, Holiber constantly shifts the viewer's perceptions through colour and texture.

Collective and individual psychology meld in the works. "I’m observing situations that produce a culture shift within society. I'm motivated by events and moments that are shared." As such, figures morph into each other. Facial expressions are obscured, disquiet and grotesque. And, because of their 3D nature, the painting's change depending on what angle you look at them. A parallel to the infinite viewpoints and experiences of any given group or society. Thus, Holiber probes the relationship between the individual and the wider world.

“There’s something special about creating an object that occupies a space with you.”Nicolas Holiber