Interview with Nice One
Chicago’s street art scene is a big and diverse community to watch! However, one name pops up a lot these days: Nice One.
With his large, intricate wheat pastes, and gorgeously energetic murals dotting the landscape, Nice One has established a great deal of respect over the years. Though warm and soft-spoken, his BIG enthusiasm for collaborative works and his highly imaginative creativity are a gift to the community; a damned good reason to keep your eye on this guy down the road!
Where are you from and where are you now?
Born in Denver, Colorado. I’ve lived in Chicago for about 10 years.
What do you do? How do you describe your art practice and when did it begin?
I like to do a lot of things, paint murals, post bills, and airbrush/craftsman in the studio. But it all started with skateboarding. I loved skateboarding when I was a kid, a crew of friends running around getting into trouble, having fun, going on adventures, blowing things up. I don’t skate as much as I used to, other than for fun and with my dog, but it defined and shaped how I look at my surroundings.
You’ve been super busy in Chicago on the mural front and in general. Where are you most comfortable as an artist? In other words, what work do you feel is most definitive of your practice?
I feel most comfortable when I’m with Lady Lucx painting on a sunny afternoon somewhere remote or in the studio. Most would say the airbrush defines what I do and I’ve been doing it for about 5 years now, but it was truly a happy accident that came about from working backstage at a haunted house. I love the airbrush, but I’ve never limited myself to one material or medium, indoor or outdoor- its all open.
Do you identify with the so called “street arts”. What’s your take on this industry that has seemingly popped up over night?
“Street Art” means many things to me and I love to hate it. But I believe that art in public spaces, with or without permission, can be powerful. Industry can try and take a piece of that energy, but can never completely own it. Street art constantly redefines it self, so i’m hopeful.
Tell me about your experience with the EN MASSE project in your city. Is this sort of artistic collaboration valuable to you?
EN MASSE has been rad both times I’ve painted with these guys. Collaborating with so many people is not easy, it’s always an experiment. What you paint will change and grow as everyone layer and build the space. Getting in the mix with everyone and collaborating makes you a stronger painter and painting with others or just seeing others paint is important to growing as a painter. Next time En Masse is in chicago, we have to bust out the fire extinguishers and get that in the mix of styles. It would would be so wild, fun, and messy… just a thought.
What’s next? Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years as an artist?
Traveling, probably find me further west then chicago, but still doing the do- doing what I love.
Can you give us a word about tacos?
warm bagel. Shit thats two words.