"Golden Red", painting. (c) Maya Lama, 2009

BAA Artist Directory

Discover BAA Artist Members in our comprehensive and ever-expanding Artist Directory.

You are a part of the BAA’s mission to connect artists and community, inspire creativity, and increase access to the visual arts. Maybe you donate every year. Your contributions are the foundation of the BAA, and we thank you for your ongoing support. If you can give more, this is a great year to do so. Maybe you’ve put a few dollars in a jar at a BAA exhibit or fundraiser. Would you consider making an annual gift? You can do this easily by mail or online through our website. Perhaps you once made a $10 contribution to be in the Artists Directory, and we’ve kept your name there for people to reach out and learn more about you and your work. Will you donate $10 again, and commit to doing so monthly or annually? 

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Nicole Irene

Egremont, MA
Website: https://www.nicoleireneart.com/
Photo of Nicole Irene

Biographical Info

Curious and determined Nicole’ recent work is a quest through life about life itself; bridging the visual link between microcosm and macrocosm. Earlier work investigated interpreting phenomenon such as Jupiter’s storm and crystal caverns while others presented the universe through a telescope or the strata of the earth under a microscope.

Currently using assorted media as a vehicle to question traditional roles of material employment and interpretation in artwork she actively considers the meaning and attempts to connect with contemporary life through topographical studies. Nicole has an intense enthusiasm for the investigation of new materials and novel techniques.

Nicole’s inspiration comes from her emotions, her childhood, nature, the metaphysical and cosmic curio. During Nicole’s process energy flows in and through her while creating in a meditative state. She embraces letting go, releasing the tight grip of control, of the need to know the exact outcome and through doing this the work evolves naturally and spontaneously.

A latest focus has addressed the manifestation of energy, such as vibrations, informed by the art movements of Kitsch, Baroque and Rococo demonstrated through heavy layering and an explosion of colors. The merging of these concepts create truly unique art work which often change course several times before all is revealed in the finished piece.

The science fictional and fantastical elements of Nicole’s work provide an escape, an alternate reality, away from our present cultural, political and commercial atmosphere. The curious topographical nature of her sculpted paintings serves as a metaphor for navigating her thoughts, life experiences and emotions

Nicole’s recent MFA Graduate Exhibition focused on how self-indulgence has become the primary goal of present day cultures and societies. Well-appointed contemporary cathedrals of consumption reaffirm our existence through the never-ending quest for novel feelings, erotic sensations and observation of bizarre realities. The clamor for pleasure idolizes self-fulfillment and sets the hedonistic earthly delights of decadence, comfort and leisure on a pedestal.

The ephemerality rich façade of Nicole’s work challenges notions of status, excess, and taste while simultaneously expanding on the theme of false idols and musing on the foibles of the human condition. The intent of the work is to encourage the viewer to be mindful of the brevity of life, provoking introspection and reflection. While originating in a personal curiosity and fascination with death the art work transforms the personal into broader contemporary cultural pathologies. Intention is derived from the theological dissemination of fear surrounding death and the struggle people have with how they conduct their living despite it.

Ensnared within the aesthetics of Kitsch, Avant-garde and Baroque arts the Eucharistic splendor of Nicole’s circular reliquaries are produced as Mementos Mori; to remind people of the fragility of their lives and how the vain glories of earthly life can easily overwhelm us. With significant influence from customary Vanitas she combines revulsion and camp with non-traditional materials positioned in the fantastical Surrealist tradition. Nicole’s cloying appetite for the optically obese produces arrangements that have obvious yet profound ruminations on personal, cultural, societal, religious and philosophical levels.

Implying otherworldly folktales, the alternately shiny and matte finishes of Nicole’s mixed media assemblages speak to the fetishization of licentious novelty. Entombed in abstract monstrance-like structures the artwork is ripe with fantastic imagery, delicate details and theatrical color schemes that celebrate untamed opulence. Her apocalyptic shrines host toxic sludge operas and menacing kitsch experiments that bestow asylum to sybaritic memorabilia. Bounded in the gleaming orbs, carefully chosen tokens commemorate the highs of gilded abundance to lows of squandered excess.

Nicole is a Berkshire native, a mixed media artist mainly based in acrylics, inks, home improvement materials, found objects, craft, fiber and textiles, currently living and working in the enchanted hills of western Massachusetts.

Right after the new year Nicole completed her Masters of Fine Arts degree from Lesley University College of Art and Design in Cambridge MA. Previous to her graduate program she earned a Bachelors of Science in Computer Information Systems with a double minor in Studio Art and Business Administration from High Point University in North Carolina; as well as studied Fine Art and Psychology at Berkshire Community College.

Categories: Assemblage, Mixed Media, Painting - Acrylic, Painting - Gouache, Painting - Oils, Painting - Watercolor