Visual artist Nicholas Grant, a former Parkite, is a rising star in the global arts community.
His surrealist paintings have been purchased by collectors all over the globe and can be found in St. George and Chicago, as well as Florida, France and Canada.
Last year during Miami Art Basel, one of the premier art shows in America, Grant sold three paintings — one through Kipton Cronkite, one of his art dealers from Los Angeles — and the other two, along with one from the world-renowned artist David Hockney, went to a client in Newport Beach, California, to a private collector.
This past June, two of Grant’s paintings were also auctioned at Hotel Drouot, the No. 1 auction house in Paris.
“I am proud that both paintings did very well, which marked a public record for my work,” Grant said, during a phone call to The Park Record from the French Riviera, where he is presently painting and working on his new collection.
A few weeks later, Grant was visited at his studio in Jupiter Island, Florida, by renowned art dealer Blaise Parinaud, owner of Galerie Messine in Paris.
Founded in 2008 by Parinaud, the Galerie Messine specializes in 20th-century art, covering Impressionism, through Modern Art and Post War paintings and sculptures, the gallery’s owners said in a statement.
Parinaud and his wife, Isabelle Keit Parinaud, are also the founders of the Modern Art Fair, which gathers more than 60 international galleries annually under one roof in a location next to L’arch de Triomphe L’étoile.
Parinaud selected some of Grant’s surrealist pieces for the Modern Art Fair last October.
“That’s why I came to Paris in the first place, to be part of that show,” Grant said. “So to be a part of that to me was quite an honor as my paintings would be displayed next to a Renoir painted in 1919, two Raoul Duffy’s Picassos, Andy Warhol and the list goes on. It was an incredible milestone for me due to the quality of the investors and works being showcased here to purchase.”
While Grant was honored to be part of the gallery’s collection, the Parinauds were also happy to work with Grant.
“For the last edition of the Moderne Art Fair in October in Paris, the Galerie Messine was pleased to show the work of Nicholas Grant,” they said in a statement. “His inspiration is rooted from the western typography he was surrounded by during his adolescence. Being known for his landscapes, Nicholas incorporates elements of naturalistic surrealism, invoking serene and calming scenes. He uses his talents to create captivating gradients of color and unique dream-like imagery.”
Grant said he is looking forward to working more with Galerie Messine.
“I am looking to do some individual shows in Paris and other opportunities in Europe,” he said.
As the Galerie Messine’s owners said, Grant’s style was inspired by the west, and he said it specifically was inspired by his growing up in Utah.
“I lived in Park City for almost 15 years, and that left a significant impression on me, my personality and my work,” he said. “There is nowhere in the world like Utah. You can be in Park City with beautiful mountains and incredible snow where you can go skiing and snowboarding and then two to three hours down south, you find yourself in the beautiful red rock desert.”
The artist also found inspiration from his love of art, which was instilled by his mother, Josee Nadeau, who is also an artist.
“My mom brought me to museums and galleries where I would see works by Monet and other masters,” he said. “I also appreciated surrealist art and landscapes, and since I’ve always wanted to create pieces that were both calming and surrealistic to convey an emotion of tranquility, I wanted to bring those styles into more contemporary and newer versions.”
Grant mainly works with acrylic paints on canvas.
“Since acrylics dry rather quickly, I’ll sometimes use a solvent that will slow down the drying so they act a little more like oils, without the toxic fumes,” he said. “You have to take care of yourself.”
Working with a traditional brush is only one way Grant stays true to his form.
“I am always trying new things, but I’m also staying true to myself,” he said. “These are things that I enjoy creating, and I’m relieved that people enjoy the work that I create, and more importantly purchase them.”
Grant’s creative process gives him space to experiment.
“I start with an idea of what I want to do and I play around until I create a full work,” he said. “A lot of that is experimenting and challenging myself to do different things. I also push myself to do things that I’m not comfortable with, and see how that works.”
The artist chooses his color palette based on what he wants to convey.
“Art is so subjective and based on emotion,” he said. “So the colors are about me trying to play into that. But it’s also not so much that I think about it. I just do it. This is how I express myself.”
Grant enjoys participating in art shows and other exhibits.
“It means so much to me, because as an artist you spend a lot of time self analyzing and focusing on your craft,” he said. “It’s fantastic to showcase and see the reactions and how the general public perceives and interacts with your work.”
In 2014, Grant painstakingly recreated the Sochi Olympic gold medal on a poster that was distributed to the Park City community during the parade that honored hometown heroes — Joss Christensen, Sage Kotsenburg, Ted Ligety and the late Steve Halcomb.
Christensen, who was Grant’s roommate at the time, won the freestyle skiing gold, and Grant had the opportunity to hold the medal while painting it on the poster.
Grant’s first professional exhibit was in 2019 at The Palm Beach Art and Jewelry Show in Florida, which showcased artists from around the world.
“It meant so much to me, because as an artist you spend a lot of time self analyzing and focusing on your craft,” he said. “It’s fantastic to showcase and see the reactions and how the general public perceives and interacts with your work.”
Since then, Grant has been able to jump into the major leagues in terms of art shows, and that has taught him some valuable lessons.
“You learn not only the technical artistic side, but also the business side,” he said. “You also learn how the buying audience reacts with the work and what they are looking for.”
One of the hardest things for an artist to do is deem a work finished, and Grant has come up with a solution.
“There is a moment where you need to step away and say, ‘This is complete,’ so I set parameters for myself,” he said. “I tell myself that I want to create X amount of work in a certain amount of time. And that forces me to not only be disciplined, but it also forces me to not overthink. Otherwise I could sit in front of a painting for 10 years touching it up.”
Grant feels creating art is a vulnerable profession, because his work is directly tied to his emotions.
“I need to walk that fine line between how much of myself I want to reveal and how much I should let the work talk for itself,” he said.
Still, Grant would much rather let his work do the talking.
“I want to just show my work, and take a bit of a backseat,” he said. “The best compliment I have ever received is when a person tells me my work helps them feel a certain way.”
Grant is currently working to reach a larger audience by expanding his representation and distribution on a global demographic, while solidifying the local ones.
“My focus is to push my exposure in the states and abroad,” he said. “I will be creating new exhibitions and new networking opportunities.”
This content was originally published here.