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Rainbow Rev: Nicky Carvell's 9/28 Art Show


We love supporting artists at 3rd Ward. Our Open Calls (we'd done a bunch with our sister org, Artists Wanted) have been a space for the up-and-coming visualists to showcase their work. Last Fall's winner, Nicky Carvell, wowed us with her 80s inspired symphonic color palette--think Keith Haring, Warhol, with a dash of Lisa Frank. It's been a pleasure to run into Nicky (and her super supportive bf) as they use the metal shop space for her magical, eye-popping car doors (see above!)

RSVP: for Nicky's solo show on Friday, September 28th at 3rd Ward.  

Here's our exclusive interview with Nicky!

TNI: You use a lot of bright colors, seemingly inspired by street art or the 1980s--what/who do you consider influential in your work?

NC As is probably dazzlingly apparent I love Stella, Haring and Warhol! Not only is their work direct, bold and dynamic but it embodys them as charismatic characters who have a distinct attitude and an edge on everyday life; they lived their work. As I was born in the 80s, these Wild Style graphics evoke feelings of empowerment and optimism; you can create your own colourful realm without needing to feel enclosed by the existing system - they escape themselves. A British ironic twist then enters from my passion for 90s Band East 17 who influence my dress sense and overall cheeky outlook on things too!

TNI: What do you hope viewers walk away with after seeing your work?

NC: Hopefully they will have gone completely colour blind! Seriously though, my work does hold a strong positive message and I want to energise viewers by creating a space pulsating with colour which they can absorb and enjoy. I want my work to emanate rather than illustrate! Also I'm going to be making some CD NIXTAPES for my upcoming show 'Rainbow Rev' at 3rd Ward, so people should defo leave with one of them to give them an earbashing!

TNI: What is your favorite medium to work with? Do you see your work changing or branching into new forms?

NC: I think this may come from my fascination with Terminator 2, but I have a real affinity with metal. I love the way it glints and can be really strong yet malleable. Also you can print onto it and get a highly opulent surface which carries my 'no messin' message really well. For Rainbow Rev I will be trying a new method of Wrapping used car metal in my Naff Graphics, which is hugely exciting as I hope a novel narrative between object and construct will be ignited!

TNI: How is the art scene in the UK different from the one in Brooklyn (Bushwick)?

NC: Having just arrived here I cant speak in depth about this, but I have noticed the more relaxed atmosphere in Bushwick. In London you can sometimes feel locked into a certain way of making work, or even behaving at Private Views as the scene seems very 'knowing'. As the spaces are so gargantuan here, there is a sense of freedom which you don't get as much in London as everywhere seems taken and overinhabited. It may be because I went through the UK Art School system, but there seems to be more possibility for experimentation in Brooklyn whereas London feels very prescribed and overpriced for me at the moment.

TNI: Where can we purchase your work (or prints of it?)

NC: I run everything myself so please check my website!

TNI: What do you do to feel creative? Any cool rituals or music?

NC: Whilst digitally drawing I either have on East 17 or some Old Skool Club music to work with; that or daytime TV! However I don't see the creative process as just being in that moment; real life stimulation is just as important. As well as visiting Galleries, a walk through London's East End where my family are originally from is just as powerful and adds a street edge and sense of ownership to my whole practice.


Flutter, by Nicky Carvell