Nik Fiend On Exhibit
|"Skulls, bemused ghouls and recurring nightmares.
Combine the three and you have the genesis of Alien Sex Fiend as well as
the art of its singer, Nik Fiend..."
- The Boston Phoenix
International selling artist, Nik Fiend, has never been to art school and has, therefore, never been formally educated about the graphic specifics of creating art. Perhaps this lack of technical adaptation is why Nik's paintings and drawings are of paramount originality and expressive imagination. Says Nik, "My art is a form of self discovery."
Using oils, watercolours, paper collages, acrylics, indian ink, felt pens, airbrushes, ultra violet paints and anything else he can get his hands on, Nik experiments with colour and textures to create his mind-expanding masterpieces. The tools of Nik's work range from his hands to palette knives, matchsticks or simply blobbing paint tubes on a picture, "I like to challenge what is considered acceptable," Nik comments, "When I started to work with oils the first thing I read in an art book was 'Do not use black', so of course I ran out and got a load of black paint!"
Nor is Nik and Mrs Fiend's home safe from Nik's creativity. Mrs Fiend recalls "Within 24 hours of getting back from a tour of Japan, I walked into our lounge bleary eyed with jet lag to be confronted by a 10 foot high mural of a psychedelic geisha girl! Everywhere we've ever lived has had at least one wall, if not entire rooms, covered in large paintings, maybe Nik thinks he's a caveman!"
Series of photos showing murals in Fiend's Brixton
It - The Painting
|Nik's first oil painting and the cover of an Alien Sex Fiend album,
both entitled "It",
was shown as part of the "Disc Cover the Art of the Record Sleeve"
exhibition at The City Of Edinburgh Art Gallery in 1986/1987,
followed by the "78 33 CD" art exhibition at the Mid-Pennine
Arts Association in Burnley, Lancashire and later at the "Best of
Record Sleeve Design" exhibition at Olympia in Earl's Court, London.
(Due to size restrictions an album cover sometimes cannot feature the entire original artwork.)
Boston 1990 - Nik Fiend and poster from the event
The first Nik Fiend solo-exhibition -- which featured more than 25 original works of art, spanning the years 1982-90, and including titles such as "Dead Quiff in an Atmospheric Aquarium", "Land Of Milk And Honey", "Frontal Lobotomy" and "Mr. Tree" alongside examples of his extensive record cover art -- took place in January 1990 at an unusual venue, a music club, Ground Zero, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA to widespread critical acclaim.
In response to the success of Nik's American exhibit, a second solo
exhibition was organized later that year in July at UK music venue, The
Powerhaus, Islington, in London with the additional attraction of a painting
created live on-stage by Nik in front of the audience.
"Also, because so many people are familiar with the fact that I create all of the Alien Sex Fiend album covers, and these were basically music fans, exhibiting at a music venue seemed like a natural progression - and you can have a beer!" Nik continues, "In a way I do the same thing with my artwork that I do with Alien Sex Fiend, I like to challenge and extend the conventional ways of doing things."
"The paintings remind me of the crazed illuminations you might find in the local psychiatric ward" - Deadline
Gawn Fishin', Nik the artist in action, London
Ticket from Diary Of A Lunatic, London 1990
A painting in progress
|To the delight of attending fans, this novel concept was taken a stage
further during Alien Sex Fiend's "Open Head Surgery" tour of
the USA in the summer of 1992, when Nik Fiend
art exhibitions were included as part of the band's live shows in New York,
Boston and Los Angeles.
||The results of later work using airbrush techniques can be seen in the specially commissioned album covers of the "Drive My Rocket" (also known as "Jellybean") and "I'm Her Frankenstein" USA compilations, though the original paintings from 1994 are larger (see the full sized "I'm Her Frankenstein" artwork in the bottom right hand corner of the photo below).|
|Nik has experimented with the use of ultra violet paints, as in "Nippleodeon", and with sculpture, "Five Little Things". Both of these were exhibited along with other works in 1996 at The Sussex Arts Club in Brighton, UK, the event achieving coverage in The Times. Once again, not content with simply hanging his paintings from the walls, the entire exhibition area was decorated for the occasion and included some of the spider webbing as used in the band's live show. Nik recalls "One of the best things that night was a guy who'd had rather too much to drink; he walked into the exhibition and promptly passed out on the floor! He was obviously out for the duration so I made him part of the exhibition. I created a sign with "Bloke Asleep" written on it and so he became living art for that one evening".||
Voices In My Head
Death Trip Vinyl LP album cover (2010)
|In following years with the advent of Alien Sex Fiend's own web site
-- numerous pages of which incorporate Nik's art -- and its artist-specific
"Gallery" pages, many more fans of all things fiendish were given
access to Nik Fiend's diverse art outside the realm of the record covers.
Nik says "Via the internet I can now make works
available for everyone, world-wide to see, it's a more immediate
method of exhibition". Further, the advent of the Alien Sex
Fiend online store, Blue
Crumb Truck, has increasingly enabled fans around the globe to
purchase or commission original works in addition to the range of T-shirts
printed with Nik Fiend designs.
Throughout the last two decades Nik has continued exploring the realms of computer art, both through works created entirely in the digital realm and also by the manipulation of photographs, drawings and paintings. "It hasn't replaced any of the other methods that I use, I still paint and draw as I always have, it's simply an additional form of creativity" he says. Examples of these creations have been printed in the band's own magazines, the "Fiendzines, and on the covers and booklets of various Alien Sex Fiend releases including the powerful "Information Overload" album (2004) and 2006's "Para-Abnormal" sampler, which marked the tenth anniversary of the ASF's 13th Moon Records label. The release of a Vinyl LP in addition to the CD format of 2010's "Death Trip" album allowed Nik an even bigger canvas for such manipulated record cover art.
In 2013, the original artwork for the "Here Cum Germs" album sleeve, a paper collage with additional ink detailing, was chosen for the "Art Of Judge Dredd" (of 2000AD comic fame) exhibition in Scunthorpe, North Lincs, U.K.
|Over the years Nik's art has also featured in innumerable magazines, both in print and on-line, as well as in books -- two are worthy of particular note -- first, the German-published coffee table book (2010) "Schillerndes Dunkel", a superbly illustrated reference work of dark culture containing a number of full page Nik Fiend works and second, the music-related "The Art Of Gothic" book. With the inclusion of Nik Fiend record cover art, this major chronicle was launched at Halloween 2014 at the British Museum's via Omnibus Press (UK) and Backbeat Books (US).||
All Artwork Copyright © Nik Fiend
|2018 saw a new fiendish masterpiece in the making with the release
of a new Alien Sex Fiend studio album entitled "Possessed"
and its accompanying extensive Nik Fiend artwork. The unusual style of
both the Alien Sex Fiend and Possessed typeface is worthy of note, as Nik
recalls, "Although I'm naturally right handed,
I experimented with holding a pen in my left hand instead to write out
the titles. They looked so good I decided to use the same method for the
names of the tracks." Full illustrated lyrics are featured
on both the CD's bumper 24 page booklet as well as throughout the gatefold
sleeve of the Double Vinyl LP format along with its bonus specially designed
3 Ghost Cards (postcards). Nik comments "For
me, my music and my art go hand in hand. I often listen back to mixes of
tracks while I'm working on images for the record and this time I have
been creating some animations for video as well. So my music and art are
even more closely entwined."
See the "Possessed"
Official Album Teaser video
By far, Nik Fiend must be commended for continually and consistently forging new frontiers through the uncompromising yet progressive nature of his band, Alien Sex Fiend, and for continuing his ideology breaking barriers in the art world through his individualistic approach to both creation and exhibition.
"These pieces could stand alone in any gallery"
- Alternative Press
Or, if you wish to discuss the purchase
of any works or commissions please
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