For Bryce Nicholson, art is not what he does. It’s in his DNA.
“I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember,” says the talented 25-year old Black artist from Toronto and Miami. Proof in point: this picture of him painting at an easel when he was just two years old. “There is no one moment when I knew I was an artist. It’s hard-wired into me,” he smiles, adding that when he got into trouble and was told to go to his room, it was more of a reward. “Art helped me thrive, especially when we moved to a small town in fifth grade where there was some animosity and some racism,” he recalls. Nonetheless, his creativity has helped him to reframe racism as “ignorance and bad influence from past generations.”
“Pathos Portraits” a series of 13 physical pieces and 100 digital NFT’s (non-fungible tokens) opens the way for him to express his fundamental belief that art speaks to something universal in each of us. Although it is an expression of his life as a young Black artist, “Pathos Portraits” invites us to discover something about the intangible core of ourselves. His message is hitting home with hundreds of visitors, art connoisseurs and collectors from all over the world who were introduced to his work at last month’s world-famous Art Basel festival in Miami. The collection, done in jetso, acrylic, charcoal, oil pastel, oil and spray paint was inspired by a period of introspection during the pandemic when the artist was struggling with self-doubt. “What Lies Inside” reveals the depth of his struggle at the time. “I love it the most because it came out of the woodwork at a time when I was really doubting myself.”
The key to Pathos is seeing how every portrait shows the same person at a different point in time. “The image of a godlike creature who has no shape and form means it is up to us to delve in and discover parts of ourselves that are in these pieces,” he says, adding that his goal is to create art that will appeal to people of all races and all walks of life. “I wanted ‘Pathos’ to exhibit every emotion in the past, present and future. Any meaning based on my Blackness is just coming from my experience in general. I just want people to identify with it on their own terms and hopefully they will discover things in “Pathos” that I never saw.”
You can find his work at www.brycenicholsonart.com and on Instagram @brycenicholsonart