Mueller + Jacobs is delighted to feature the work of Nicolas Holiber in our Artist Highlight.
Holiber is a Brooklyn based artist who is well known for his paintings, sculptures and public art. After finishing his MFA at NYAA in 2012, Holiber received a prestigious postgraduate fellowship and from there has gone on to complete several residencies. Recently, his public sculptures have come into the spotlight. Last year, he was commissioned by the NYC Parks Department to create Head of Goliath as part of the Art in the Parks program. Holiber has also found acclaim creating public sculptures for the LoMan Arts Festival, and New York Health & Racquet Club. You can check out our Instagram to see a selection of Holiber’s recent works.
M+J recently caught up with the busy artist to ask him a few quick questions about his practice.
M+J: Talk to us about about your influences – what inspires you to make this kind of art.
NH: I get a lot of inspiration from the material I use. I love how something can be made for one single purpose but then an artist can come along and use it for something completely different. It gives new life to the material.
M+J: Where does your aesthetic come from? Are there any artists, throughout history, that you believe really inspire your work?
NH: I have always been a fan of Art Brut, German Expressionism, non-Western Art, etc. But also classical sculpture and painting… So in my work I try to balance these different aesthetics. The more I research artists, living and dead, the more I am inspired!
M+J: Your works are very tactile by nature. Can you describe your creative process?
NH: My creative process is a very labor intensive, hands on procedure. When I’m working with wood I’m constantly fitting things together, cutting pieces, moving parts around. It’s like a giant puzzle except I don’t entirely know what the final image will be and I have to make my own pieces.
M+J: What is the biggest challenge of working with reclaimed materials?
NH: Having the work be about more than just the materials.
M+J: How do you think your style has developed over the years? Can you identify any particular moment that really changed the course of your work?
NH: I think it has been a steady progression from what I was painting in grad school to the sculptures I’m making now. When I graduated from NYAA, I was awarded a Postgraduate Fellowship and decided to focus solely on sculpture. I had majored in painting and never took a sculpture class so the medium was new and exciting for me, and still is. I think switching mediums like that opened up a lot of new doors for me in terms of what I thought was possible with painting and sculpture.
M+J: Congratulations on your recent feature in Brooklyn Magazine’s 30 Under 30. What’s in store for you for 2016?
NH: Thanks!! In March I’ll be having my first solo show with Gitler & _______ in Harlem. Next month I’m also starting a residency on Governor’s Island sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
M+J: Thank you, Nicolas. We look forward to working with you more in 2016!
- Andy + Nic.