Viridian Artists is pleased to present "Art with a Story", an exhibition of paintings by John Nieman.
Art with a Story is more than a series of paintings, but a body of work that is also a book & a series of audio recordings as well. As a book, its 139 pages of what one reviewer called “Flash Fiction” are one-page stories filled with creativity and inspiration overlaying the paintings that they are about. Here in this exhibit we are made privy to the paintings themselves for unlike other authors who use a photograph to inspire the words & story, Nieman creates watercolors to draw us in. He then superimposes words connected to and clarifying what the images are about – giving them a deeper meaning then the surface of reality and what is seen at first glance.
Multi-talented as both a writer and a painter, the images are realistic in their execution with a slightly soft focus, but with the addition of his words, he adds meanings that go much deeper than the object depicted. With the layering of both word & image the artist’s intention is to create space for a bigger impact of the themes of the works. "A picture is worth a thousand words" describes his art perfectly, though only superficially, since for him it is the idea that holds the greatest importance whether word or image or both. And hoping to make people see reality in a different light, both the ordinary and the unusual, these paintings incorporate words and images in equal power.
The artist, who has been a "voice over actor", has added recordings that can be listened to while viewing. "Hi-tech" recording of these stories he has written in the artist’s voice accompany all the images are accessible by a QR code or cell phone number. You can just “read” the painting, but if you do, you risk missing his dramatic interpretation. John Nieman's art continually connects the verbal and the visual, whether with recordings accompanying the art or in paintings with images that have words superimposed and often both, as in this exhibit.
Nieman is continually fascinated by the nexus of art and pop culture, perhaps because before turning to fine art over a decade ago, he enjoyed a successful career in advertising, but he is no “Mad Man” at heart. Since leaving the advertising world he has exhibited widely and collections of his paintings and poems have been published in "The Art of Lists" and "The Art of More Lists" and "The Wanted Book". Nieman's art hangs in collections throughout Europe and the US.
This will be John Nieman's second solo exhibit at Viridian, his first a series of Wanted Posters of people who are wanted because of their good deeds and ability to inspire rather than their crimes.