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Galería Hanbell


Nick Metz

Based in USA




What do you aim to say by the themes in your art?

The themes in my art aim to provide a new perspective to masculinity and its constraints on humanity. My work depicts men in more typically effeminate manners, despite also highlighting their masculinity in the process. I also hope to give representation in the historical canon of oil painting to the Queer community, a long ignored and forgotten part of history. My work uses an established style but often uses contemporary imagery, blending two worlds together. My intention is to allow people to rethink the binary of masculine and feminine and open themselves up for expression as a means of bringing people together rather than separating them into categories.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from many bountiful sources. I would say most of my work is inspired by my own queer experience and the opposition I faced in expressing myself while growing up. These works are a response to the lingering voices that say that “men can’t do this” and “don’t show too much emotion” and other damaging archaic phrases that limit a man’s ability to fully express himself. I also garner inspiration from a variety of artists, both historical and contemporary. I credit my deep love for art starting with the divine talent of John Singer Sargent, but the torch has been picked up by many since then including Kehinde Whiley, Kris Knight, and many more. Apart from that, I gain a slew of inspiration from social media, publications, and other media.

Do you have any experiences that have impacted your art?


 My experience growing up as a Catholic Queer informs a lot of my work. I was told from an early age that the church was a welcome and loving place, and God loved all his children…that is, except for me. That was a hard pill to swallow for a young child who needed support in the journey of his self-discovery. Through many years of turmoil, coming to a place where my queerness is not only accepted by myself, but celebrated serves as an inspiration in much of my work. The ability to take something that had once brought so much shame and misery into something that is now one of my most proud attributes is almost allegorical in a sense.

Do you feel your art challenges existing barriers?

I strongly believe my art challenges many traditional images of men. I hope to continually defy what masculinity means in the traditional sense. I also hope to redefine the concept of how oil paint and portraiture is valued in today’s art world. The general consensus is that traditional realism is a craft of the past and is no longer the preferred style or medium, but I hope to revive an interest through the use of contemporary imagery and political messages. Often the easiest way for me to demonstrate this through my work is through humor or shock as it provides a common ground for viewers to enter the plane of the painting, and then read into the deeper meaning after being engaged.

 What are your long-term artistic goals?

My long-term artistic goals vary in many ways. I have always dreamt of my work hanging in some of the world’s greatest museums and galleries, but I also see myself dipping into the business side of art. I have a budding curiosity in curation and find the satisfaction from exhibiting other artists to be equally as regarding as having my own work shown. I also hope to paint murals, participate in outreach programs, and even perhaps one day teach the next generation of artists. My goals are ever-changing and growing, but I have full confidence in my dedication and ability to complete them.  

 What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

My advice for young artists is two-fold. 1) Do not forget the gift you have as an artist. Too often we artists compare ourselves to others and get down on ourselves for the progress, or lack thereof we are making with our craft. The important thing to remember is that every single artist is on their own individual journey and comparing yourself to others’ journeys does not give credence to the beauty and individuality of your own. And 2) Practice from life. I was fortunate enough to get traditional training in oil painting from life which gave me the groundwork I needed to work on more conceptual works. That foundation’s importance cannot be undermined. The ability to observe and then act upon those observations is invaluable as an artist, even if your work is not representational.

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