Where Skateboards and Bosch Meet
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Art, music and skateboarding went hand in hand for Nick Weir in his formative years in the late 1980s and early ’90s. He had been drawing since he was a child, and Thrasher magazine and punk rock completed a holy trinity of teenage exploration.
“Thrasher was the one thing that introduced me to a lot of art and music that I probably would have not gotten into otherwise.”
Weir ended up studying art history in college. He now works as a graphic designer producing brochures and other promotional materials for both the hospital and the medical school at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Six paintings on display in October and November at Earshot Records in Winston-Salem reflect both the teenage exuberance of Weir’s skateboarding roots and exposure to classic artists such as Hieronymus Bosch.
Weir is in the midst of a gradual comeback. The artist maintained Atelier Studio on Trade Street in the last decade, but took a break around 2009. Two years ago, he was invited to show two paintings in 6 Days in November, a multi-venue, multi-disciplinary arts festival. And last year, fellow artist Patrick Harris recruited Weir to contribute to the Art on Wax exhibit at Earshot. That led to a solo run in the Art at Earshot series, curated by Jane Buck. All the art in the series is in some way inspired by music.
The two most obvious offerings pay tribute to two of Weir’s musical heroes, Ian Curtis of Joy Division and Iggy Pop.
“Twenty Four Hours,” inspired by the Joy Division song of the same name, uncannily captures the bleak minimalism in the band’s sound with a morose portrait of the band’s lead singer accompanied by song lyrics displayed in engraved lettering that might be found on a headstone.
“James Newell Osterberg Jr.” achieves the opposite effect by portraying punk-rock pioneer Iggy Pop in caricature in front of a flaming red background. The singer’s waist and legs are impossibly thin while his chest and shoulders bulge with sinewy musculature. A microphone cord flung over his shoulder suggests a lasso.
The first piece completed by Weir for the Art on Record series was an oil painting called “Gig” that depicts a melting and undulating swirl of human figures.
He listened to music to ease himself into a creative space to make the paintings.
“I started doodling around with that,” Weir said. “I wanted to create a stream-of-consciousness effect, letting my mind go free. It’s kind of a Rorschach test with mirror images that create other images. When people look at it I want them to see something I might not have thought of before.”
Nick Weir’s exhibit remains on display through November at Earshot Records, located in Silas Creek Crossing Shopping Center in Winston-Salem. Call 336.765.2009 for hours of operation.