Nicole Ida Fossi is a multimedia artist with a focus on large-scale oil painting. After growing up in New Orleans and Washington, DC, Nicole earned a BA in Art History & Visual Arts at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME. She returned to DC after graduating in 2013, and has been making art there ever since. Though her main focus is oil painting, she is also a trained silversmith and avid illustrator.
ARTIST STATEMENT: The process of making art as a way to understand and appreciate the world around me began long before I could realize the meaning of this connection. It began with crayon scribbles on printer paper and doodles in the margins of notebooks and slowly developed into keeping a sketchbook on me at all times so I could immediately put pen to paper during a moment of inspiration. I eventually found that I didn’t need to be inspired to open my sketchbook, but could open my sketchbook and create inspiration myself.
I developed a great observational eye from this habitual and disciplined sketching, and for me, the great joy of being an artist is the ability to keenly observe connections and find beauty in nearly any form.
In my work, I explore themes of science and nature, particularly biology and pattern, as well as the human figure and all the interesting shapes and forms it produces. My current series focuses on the human figure, and how it can be both subject and object, vacillating in meaning from purely a fleshy background to a vital tool of identity.
Truly, everything from microscopic images of cells to the expansion of the universe has the power to captivate me. Stunning patterns can be found everywhere, which I often incorporate into my paintings in varying levels of abstraction. As a whole, I think of the majority of my paintings as an exploration of the possibilities of “abstract representation,” as I inhabit the space between abstraction and pure representation and often meld the two. Oil painting provides a rich opportunity to explore a vast variety of lines and textures, and I love exploring and discovering new styles and techniques. I keep myself open to all possibilities of subject, medium, and style, as I never know what I will respond to next.
Gardens have always been integral to my work, as I have spent many years in and around gardens while working as a garden and landscaping assistant at GGR, LLC.