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Nick Alm: The Beauty of Classic Introspection

A Classic Act

While most artists these days preach of the freeness of expression and mostly disregard technique to favor creativity and eccentricity, Nick Alm uses his classical training to produce pieces that, while traditional at first glance, still touch a modernist’s heart.

"Bacchanal" by Nick Alm, oil on canvas, 2013

Prompted to paint in oil after a visit to the Gothenburg Museum, Alm applied for and eventually got accepted at the Florence Academy of Art after attending art school in Gothenburg. Although art has always been a part of his life, with his childhood home decorated with both classic and modern pieces, it was this stage of his life that he decided to make painting a profession.

"Cafe Scene" by Nick Alm, oil on canvas, 2018

“My main source of inspiration comes from the human nature, either from direct observation or from a mental process that is hard to explain.”

"Champagne Breakfast" by Nick Alm, oil on canvas, 2015

Mastery of the Internal Process

Alm’s creative process often includes a thumbnail sketch drawn with pen on paper, and sometimes even includes a bit of messing around in Photoshop. The composition then is developed and further enhanced with the help of a live model. This is when paint finally meets the canvas. He breathes life into the pieces with oil on linen, alternating between soft and rough brushes to give the artworks various textures. The textures involved in his work bring out certain details that other mediums and materials wouldn’t able to bring justice to and they certainly add a certain depth to his art.

"Bacchanal" by Nick Alm, oil on canvas, 2014

Alm’s pieces are all masterful and often involve a social gathering or occasion, with focus on personalities despite them not always being portraits. They seem quite simple yet undoubtedly beautiful; anyone viewing his works will feel something off in these pieces, something almost mysterious yet playful. However, while they depict society and its functions, their goal is not to criticize it, only to reflect upon it.

"Embrace" by Nick Alm, oil on canvas, 2015

“Art is like a playground for the subconscious. Almost everything you’ve experienced in life will leave a mark in your memory bank and the perfect way to process this bank is by practicing art.”

"Elevator" by Nick Alm, oil on canvas, 2017

Into the Mind of the World Renowned

The works of Nick Alm have been awarded and praised by art bodies from all over the world. His most recent accolades include a Purchase Prize for Elevator and a TIAC Art Prize for his piece Ruset, which took him two weeks to paint, but about two years to conceptualize and finalize. While he says that although his art pays for bills, he doesn’t paint for the money. He paints for himself and can only declare a piece of art done once his inner critic is satisfied.

“My own experience is that when people get exposed to good quality art, they show interest.”

"Ruset" by Nick Alm, oil on canvas, 2017

In this day and age, when artists are a lot freer with their expression and creativity, Nick Alm chooses to stick with classic techniques, not letting them hinder his creative expression but instead aid him in delivering spectacular pieces that would hopefully open people to a different way of looking at the world.

All images copyright of Nick Alm

You can view more work by Nick on his Instagram and website.

Article written by Kathlene Masilongan

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