Friends of

NICK CURTIS

ARTIST AND COLLECTOR

In a book filled studio in East London we had the pleasure of visiting our friend, the visual artist Nick Curtis. With a skeleton literally beneath his desk, Nick is a collector of things that intrigue and speak to him of the life that was or could have been. Packs of old photos, continental 60's fashion magazines found in bric-a-brac markets in France, even birth certificates found in car-boot sales, he gathers them up saving them from being lost and perhaps they become part of the story preserved within one of his paintings. He met his hero once, Peter Blake, at a car-boot sale in Chiswick, both rummaging for inspiration.

While inspired by filmic imagery, collage and the pop art movement Nick's paintings remain uniquely his own. His subjects have a familiarity, capturing a moment of life that is easily relatable - an engrossing discussion, a game of cards, dancing with friends, browsing a menu. And the more you look at his subjects the more you are intrigued to learn about them.

Working with oil and acrylic to build a tangible mood and texture his works are still life studies but of people not objects. Interestingly one series of works study's the concept of disintergrating photos, just like the once enigmatic life it's depicting. Observing life and death, many of his subjects would be long gone, in his work they are preserved forever, a point he often contemplates and is important to him. His art is a celebration of their lives.

It was twelve years ago that Nick turned back to painting on canvas after a career spanning two decades creating painted textile designs for fashion houses including Liberty of London.

" I can spend hours perfecting something and then come back the the next day and it looks totally different"

Nick can work on a painting for many months until he feels he has reached as close to perfection as is possible. The view from his studio looks out over the busy London over-ground line and a rapidly changing east-London horizon, yet inside the studio there retains a preservation and a harmony that is reflected in his studies. He cares for his paintings and the people within them forming an attachment that often prevents him from selling his work.

"Searching for perfection in a world of Mediocrity"

Taking time to produce his art, honing his skills over decades, being inspired by the past and simplifying the materials he uses is reminiscent of Aubin's ethos of Better is Greater than More. As Nick says and on which we are agreed - "I'd rather create three good pieces than many average ones". Perhaps this alignment is why our paths crossed in the first place, it'd definitely why we are celebrating his art today. We are looking forward to collaborating with Nick to create a graphic T.shirt for our SS23 collection, so watch this space.

To find out more about Nick's paintings you can follow his on instagram - @nickpaulcurtis or his website - www.nickcurtistartist.com.

Nick is wearing our limited edition Camo Knit Crew and the Wye Roll Neck