Vancouver-based artist Nick Lepard has created a breathtaking collection of portraits with oil and acrylic on large-scale canvas. Some straightforward, others abstract, these portraits portray a range of figures with somber emotions and unapologetic poses. The brushwork of Lepard is touching, colorful and human, alive with detail but obscured enough to remain imaginative.
Nick Lepard was born in Vancouver in 1983, and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2008. It was here that he honed his natural creativity with formal technique and perspective. He later went on to complete a Master of Fine Art at the New York Academy of Art.
Lepard’s style is raw, competent and confident beyond his years. Like the work of artists he admires – such as the American writer Charles Bukowski, and British painter Jenny Saville, who “constructs painting with the weighty heft of sculpture” – Lepard paints with gusto and verve.
As the product of a media immersed society, Lepard’s artwork represents the human in the midst – not necessarily at the whim, or in complete control – of a world that is constantly changing, and “here one minute, gone the next.” His portraits capture the essence of the person: layered, multi-faceted, rich, deep, integrated, contemporary, classic, and complete in the face of fragmentation. “Right now, images are not something we spend much time with. We look at something, then quickly move onto the next thing. To keep someone looking, to have them paused on a single stationary image for an extended period of time, seems almost subversive.”
That sense of timelessness is apparent in his thorough technique, and resonates strongly throughout his work and stands at the core of his art: “Things move very quickly now. It is hard to know what to invest in. Something is here one minute and gone the next. Painting – portraiture specifically- is something I feel, based on its resume, that you can count on to persevere through all this growth and change.