Nick Osmond | CHG Represented Artist

"His art is a breath of fresh air, often involving an innocence, whimsy and energy that is easy to identify with on one level. Like some of Nolan's art it possesses an understatement however with more colour and a subjective twist. There is an 'X factor' that attracts!" Mark Widdup.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

In the wake of two severe injuries, Nick Osmond began painting two years ago in his weatherboard cottage by the Broadwater Creek, on the outskirts of Moree in north-west NSW.

Describing himself as a gardener who paints, Nicks home is now overgrown with plant life and portraiture. In the studio, he regularly enjoys the company of his twelve-year-old daughter Sophie.

ARTIST STATEMENT

I love to paint PEOPLE! Either as portraits or in a loose narrative style. My painting style is semi abstract, moving some times to realism. Often influenced by Sidney Nolan and Adam Cullen, I’m often also inspired by Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Goya. Painting in a loose naïve style works well given the in-distinctive way I paint. I require a very firm image, visualisation or photographic record to commence an artwork, yet believe most of the final image comes from the following artistic process and development.

CHG DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

Artist Nick Osmond is powered with enthusiasm and a joy for life. On first meeting, albeit so brief, his passion flowed. I felt he had a vision, untamed and ready to explore the opportunities art was going to present to him.

An obvious 'people person' his art influence revolves around the figure and so often their character is revealed. Much of the stimulus for his subject matter is historical reference, old photos, a reading of history and a fascination for 'recognised' people and their personalities. He is keen to extract just the essence and presents it in a unique abstract.

Nick has a fascination with Sidney Nolan, arguably our most famous Australian figure painter, who later became internationally recognised Australian artist. He also captures the 'character'. However, for me it's Nick's application of paint colour that adds to the energy within his figure painting.

His art is a breath of fresh air, often involving an innocence, whimsy and energy that is easy to identify with on one level. Like some of Nolan's art it possesses an understatement however with more colour and a subjective twist. There is an 'X factor' that attracts! Will he get to the heights of Nolan? Probably not but Nick has an innocence and naïve element in his art that draws upon sentimentality which is both attractive and immediately identifiable. I believe he could go close! Watch his career as there will be some 'gems' in the years to come! I think there could be an 'Archibald' in the waiting.

COMMENTS OF NOTE

"Nick Osmond’s work resonates with the paintings of Marlena Dumas, Peter Doig, and perhaps George Condo and Francis Bacon. Like many of Dumas’ portraits, these faces bear partial resemblances to faces we know – celebrities, friends, archetypes – and similar to Bacon, Osmond fragments and distorts, to sometimes blur the boundaries of figure and ground, subject and object. The rendering of the paint is loose to the point of semi-abstraction, so the presence of paint and painterly technique is immanent in each work, yet there is a softness to each figure, a vulnerability that is fixed often to the eyes of the subjects.

An abstracted motif of Ned Kelley’s armoured headgear appears in two number of these works, rendered in calligraphic style, flat and black, sitting on the picture plane of the canvas’s surface, or as a green pillar-box form. The reference to Ned Kelly and the abstraction of his armour evoke Sidney Nolan’s famous series of paintings from the 1940s. However, in the context of the works presented here, such as Vietnam Vet Playing Guitar, 2016, and Wheat Farmer, 2016, Kelley’s armour situates the broader body of works collected here within a specifically Australian context. Osmond’s image of the 1970s anti-drugs campaigner, Donald MacKay, murdered by associates of crime boss Robert Trimbole and the Griffith mafia, brings narratives of the Australian outlaw mythology of Kelley into more recent decades. Along with Aboriginal Stockman and Australian Troops Vietnam, Osmond depicts archetypes of a tough and rugged Australia."

Associate Professor Dr Kit Messham-Muir. School of Design and Art, Curtin University, Perth