The photographer-turned-painter is debuting 13 canvasses at the 8th edition of ASIA NOW.
Top Filipino fashion and advertising photographer Mark Nicdao never knew he would get into painting. Then again, the acclaimed creative responsible for countless iconic magazine covers and editorials, never thought he would get into photography either. When asked about his switch in practices, he says, “I didn’t actually switch—circumstances happened along the way and decisions were made fast and I’m just glad I felt ready … Mostly I think I’m just revisiting something that scared me when I was still in UP Fine Arts (Visual Communication).” Fate seems to have a way of manifesting his passions before his own eyes.
On October 20, Nicdao is gearing up to debut a 13-piece exhibit of his work in Paris, under Rivoli Fine Art for the 8th edition of ASIA NOW—the first Parisian art fair to showcase contemporary Asian artists. He said once the gallery contacted him about this show, he immediately put it together and sent in his full application. “The whole experience finishing 13 pieces is a rollercoaster ride,” he elaborates, expounding on the adrenalin rush one gets baring their emotions on a canvas.
He calls his collection “Microscopic Amphigories,” which represents Nicdao’s imaginary microscope that peers into the lines and colors of electronic signals. This is his visualization of the small things, insecurities, fears, and pent-up emotions that one brushes aside and sweeps under the rug. “It’s about the void you fill up with colorful words to put on a façade,” he says, “It’s really about a state of mind.”
Like many artists, Nicdao puts acrylic to canvas to express emotions that are hard to verbalize, though he does it in a way unique to him and his own experiences. His artistic process involved blasting music—anything from techno to Mozart—while he would sketch and paint. During breaks, he would socialize, peruse old books for inspiration, and browse color wheels. The visceral process often required a literal breath of fresh air. Nicdao’s favorite method of doing so is to take a walk outdoors.
Several canvasses of varying sizes now line the Paris studio he’s been working in—his own innermost emotions on display. When asked what the show means to him, he replies, “I think this is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s a very special time.”
“Microscopic Amphigories” will be on display from October 20-23, 2022 at the Monnaie de Paris (Paris Mint), 11 quai de Conti. Get your tickets here.
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