Nick Holdsworth

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Nick Started his artistic journey by setting up his own fashion label, ‘Purple Om / Random’ in 1998. It was a cult T-shirt brand that was sold all over the world in high end department stores such as Harvey Nichols, Harrods, Liberty’s, Collette in Paris and Barney’s in Tokyo. He has also worked on collaborations with Levis Red-Japan, Eliminator-Japan, Block 60-Italy, Griffin Studio-UK, and Harvey Nichols. From this, he started to explore new ways to express his love of fashion and culture through fine art. The skills he had already gained from his fashion label, allowed him to explore and experiment with his artwork and produce the awe inspiring multi-media artwork he creates today.

Nick’s creative process is both playful and complex, and informs the entire message of each powerful portrait. Once he has chosen an image to work with, he will manipulate it using a pixilation process, this is a technique that requires vigilant control over the placement for each individual pixel (of which there are hundreds for each image).

The pixilation is then overlaid with Nick’s chosen repeated icon, often a famous brand logo, which he identifies for its association with the chosen subject. An example of this is his Kate Moss portrait; this was based on a photo shoot she did for Playboy Magazine, so the graphic Nick chose to work with was the playboy bunny. Nick then adjusts the scale of these icons to enhance the definition to the overall subject and finishes by using airbrush and inks to add colour and tone to the painting, thereby introducing a hand finished and original element to each piece.

The nostalgic nature of the images is contrasted with the modern process he uses to create each one. Nick says these beautiful pieces are inspired by the musical legends of his youth, and the hours spent flicking through his mother’s fashion magazines as a child. This unexpected combination imbues the pieces with emotional depth, occasional wit, and a surprisingly vintage style for something so contemporary.

Freddie Mercury’s sister and Brian May both hold Nick’s portraits of Freddie in their private collections.



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