“As my style, technique, and medium change, the one constant has been my effort to reimagine my image through my art. It has been my way of understanding my place in the cultures, spaces, and situations that I travel through.”
Born in 1998 in North Carolina, in the United States to a Swiss mother and African American father, Nicolas Lambelet Coleman is a painter currently based in New York. His work focuses on portraiture, with a particular emphasis on self-portraiture, a journey to self-discovery, he is reimagining his image and path through his art. He studied visual arts and political science at Duke University. His work has been featured in several exhibitions across the US, recent shows include 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in New York in 2022 and 33rd September, the Alexandria Museum of Art in Louisiana, 2020 and the Duke University Visual Arts Exhibition in 2020.
His art embodies a subversion of the boundaries that we have constructed around identity and what it means to be human. Much of his identity has been constructed through a process of self-invention to which his art is central. Through vibrant colours, meaningful imagery and the distinctive visual language that he has developed, he projects himself and those around him into a world of his own making. Using clothing, facial features, hairstyles, and other objects, he confuses traditional depictions and understandings of culture and social class.
The artist observes then creates from his daily existence, his surroundings and also explores Black history such as in his ongoing series of portraits named “Reconstruction & Redemption” centred around 19th century African American leaders from the South. Placing humankind at the centre of his oeuvre, his work is an invitation to reflect on different facets of identity, community and humanity.