36 year old Swedish artist Nick Alm is a Contemporary Realist whose paintings of both social and private scenes exude an ethereal gestalt accentuated by his masterful command of light. Today we take a look at the extraordinary oil paintings by Nick Alm
Extraordinary Oil Paintings by Nick Alm
Born in Sweden in 1985, Alm first began studying art in Florence, Italy in 2006. Immediately following, he studied with acclaimed Norwegian figurative painter Odd Nerdrum in both Norway and France. He’s since perfected both his drawing and painting skills to such a degree that it’s not an exaggeration to liken his adroitness with light and shadow to two world-renowned artists often cited as Masters of Light; Titian and Rembrandt.
You can see the inspiration of portraitists Rembrandt, Zorn and Sargent in Alm’s light and texture. The nightclub, bar and café paintings by Impressionists Renoir, Manet, Degas and Lautrec are recalled when looking at some of Alm’s works. Yet despite being rooted in classicism, there are clear contemporary facets to Alm’s pieces. The positioning of the figures, the ambiguously defined settings, an underlying eroticism and the harmonious color palettes, all of which, when combined, give his paintings an illusory quality.
Working from his studio in Stockholm, Alm says he paints the world as he sees it, citing existentialism and everyday life as the themes he pursues.
Much of his work appears to fall within two categories; “social” and “private.” He’s probably best known for his multiple figures, socializing in bars and outdoor cafes, that are reminiscent of Impressionists Manet, Lautrec and Renoir, yet imbued with his own dreamlike quality.
Most of the social scenes depicted in Alm’s work are that of the white upper class, languishing in late afternoons or gathering and imbibing. Some scenes are even bordering on Bacchanalian.
Then there are the “private’ paintings, as I refer to them. A series of single figures either napping, lying in bed or waking from sleep. These are quieter paintings but ironically more impactful than his group scenes. These intimate narratives take place not at night but in the afternoon or early morning, making the act an escape or an indulgence for the subject. Unhurried and subdued, these evoke feelings of calm and inner peace.
Despite the obvious juxtaposition between the social and private scenes, his handling of the medium is equally finessed.
I aim to communicate what is inherently and universally human, transcending cultural codes and trends. It’s not my goal to criticize society; instead my work addresses itself primarily to the inner world of the individual.- Nick Alm
Nick seems to be embarking on a new and compelling series of Subway paintings – if his Instagram feed is an accurate indication. Below are his “Stranger on The Platform”, “Entering The Train” and “Subway Bride.” They are all fabulous and we can’t wait to see more.
He’s also as equally adept with watercolors as he is with oils (which is mind-blowing in itself), so be sure to see more of his work at his site.
Follow him on Instagram @nickalmart