This week we're excited to catch up with Nicolas V. Sanchez, a New York artist who just returned home from spending a month drawing in Venice. His work first caught our eye when he was a post-graduate Fellow at the New York Academy of Art last year, and he has continued to impress us (and the rest of the art-loving community) with his signature ballpoint-pen portrait books and his naturalistic oil paintings. His work was recently selected to be a part of the 56th Venice Biennale this summer, a huge honor for any artist, and a well-deserved one for the ultra-talented and hard-working Sanchez. Scroll down to read about Nicolas's recent residency in Venice, his work for the Biennale and an upcoming solo show near Florence, as well as his favorite music, artists, and his art-making routine.
Tell us about your residency in Venice. How did it come about, and how was working in Venice different than your studio routine in New York?
I was living and working in Venice for the month of March (I just got back a few days ago) and it was a great experience. It was my first time in Venice and I was immediately taken by the buildings, winding streets, and cathedrals. I was put up in an apartment on the Grand Canal, arranged by Accesso Galleria, with an amazing view of the water. It felt like a dream and I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to focus, make work, and be inspired by some of the most legendary of sceneries. The biggest difference between working in Venice and working from home in New York was that I was free from my normal distractions.
How does it feel to be exhibiting in the Venice Biennale for the first time?
It is a huge honor to exhibit in the Biennale. I am extremely grateful and excited to be part of such an event. As one of the largest art events in the world, an expected 375,000 people from around the world will visit the Biennale. The exhibition is open to the public and will last seven moths starting in May. I currently feel anxious/excited as I'm still making the work and looking forward to attending the opening reception in Venice.
What else do you have planned for the year?
As a follow up to the Biennale which will feature new colored ballpoint pen drawings, I am having a solo show at Accesso Galleria featuring new paintings. I am very excited for this as it will be my first solo exhibition in Europe. The show is set for this summer, July 18th, where people can see my drawings in Venice and my paintings near Florence. I will also have my work included in group shows here in New York and in New Jersey. There are other projects in the works later in the year that I'm excited about as well.
You work in a wide range of media -- from large oil paintings to 3x5 inch ballpoint pen drawings. Do you approach these various kinds of art very differently from each other, or do you consider it all part of an ongoing project?
As of now, the main mediums I use are oil paint, ink, and charcoal. Using multiple mediums and maintaining elasticity in my studio practice is important to me and my work. Not everything can be expressed exactly how I want using a single medium. Some ideas are better expressed in one medium over another. Making my work means adaption. If I can be fluid enough with different mediums, than there is a greater opportunity for me to express myself more effectively.
LIVES IN / Manhattan
WORKS IN / Long Island City
OCCUPATION / Artist
ON THE CLOCK / Wake up, coffee, take my dogs out for a walk. Depending on the day of the week, I draw from home or go and paint in my studio.
YOUR ART WEEKEND / I try to go out to shows to support my friends, but as of now, I am working all day everyday.
MUSIC / Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, East Harvest.
ARTIST / Sargent, Sorolla, Lucian Freud, Antonio Lopez Garcia, Velasquez.
EATS / Coffee
LATEST PURCHASE / Tickets to go back to Venice in May.
GUILTY PLEASURE / Pretending that my dogs won't let me out of bed in the mornings because THEY just want to cuddle.
GRADE IN ART CLASS / A
36 HOURS / Go anywhere and do anything with my wife and best friend Kristi.
SUGARLIFT PICK / Guno Park!