|"Amy" oil on canvas 16" x 20"|
|"Girl in the Sun" oil on canvas 22" x 28" 2011|
|"Green Bikini" oil on canvas 51" x 36" 2011|
|"Lost in Thought" oil on canvas 36" x 51"|
|"Lit Up House" oil on canvas 30" x 24"|
Nick Weber has been working through some issues with his art. I guess we all kind of know that art is sometimes therapy for the artist, and there's an old cliché, with some merit to it, that artists are, if not crazier than most folks, at least more neurotic and perhaps a little narcissistic. In this respect an artist's work can be seen as self-portraiture even if the subject matter is someone else.
Nick Weber has been doing portraits and figurative work for a long time. They vary greatly, from tight carefully crafted commissions of wealthy patrons, to casual studies of friends, to painted renditions of internet porn. The latter has brought him both attention and controversy, both useful to an artistic career. But it also points to one of the artists primary obsessions. Sexually attractive women. Are they people in his paintings? Or are they sexualized objects? The answer could easily be both. But lately it may be more accurate to say they are neither. In the past Mr. Weber has used his art not to solve his complex relationship toward women but to simply confront it, confess it, and move on. Now he is using the same subject matter, long familiar to him, to simply explore the possibilities of painting. He has gotten more experimental in recent years. The courage it took to paint explicit pornography (and yes, it took courage, if not taste) now reveals itself in his helter-skelter exploration of more expressionistic techniques. The flip side of courage is of course recklessness. But he has the chops to pull it off.
I added one of his night scenes here as well because I think they offer a look at another side of the artist, a more melancholic side, less anxious to confront his audience or himself, or please them either. They are about moments alone. They capture beautifully the feeling one gets of the atmosphere at night, when the air does not feel like emptiness, but a palpable medium through which we move. They are beautifully observed and executed. And I'm a sucker for night scenes.
You can see more work of all kinds on his website: nicholasweber.com
He currently has a lot going on. There's a retrospective of his figurative and portrait work open until Dec. 31 at QF Gallery in East Hampton, NY. His porn paintings are up until Jan. 11 at res ipsa gallery, and you can see more work online or in the gallery at www.tripoligallery.com
I first posted work by Mr. Weber in April 2009 here.