Born February 4th, 1985 in Newport Beach, California. Nicholas Hunt grew up surrounded by business minded entrepreneurs and Southern California art icons Billy Al Bengston, Peter Alexander, Chuck Arnoldi, Laddie John Dill, Andy Moses, Joe Goode, and Ed Ruscha. These experiences in business, art, California culture, and the unmistakable beauty and variety of Southern California landscapes have been instrumental in developing his visual acuity.
Nicholas received a BA in Art History from Pepperdine University, and an MA in Art Business from Sotheby’s Art Institute in New York to begin a career as an art dealer. After several years working on the business side of art, Hunt went dark in 2015 to begin creating art full-time. Upon his reemergence, Hunt has unveiled a series of breakthrough works around a central theme of “Value” — an often times “Taboo” subject in the art world that Hunt regularly confronted in the world of art business and more importantly in everyday life. By rushing head-on into what he knows to be a support pillar for society and artistic creation, Hunt uses his art as a vessel to draw attention to our almost pornographic avoidance of conversations around “value” and “money" in relation to art.
In Nicholas Hunt’s Caliber Abstraction series he has invented a method to add value by subtraction, and through the process created a contemporary reincarnation reminiscent of Robert Rauschenberg's 'Erased de Kooning'.
On a conceptual and humanistic level, his Caliber Abstraction series is also a symbol for the value that life creates within the individual self. Throughout life we are challenged, rewarded, broken, repaired, and scarred physically and sometimes emotionally. It’s these experiences to which we owe our individuality, our uniqueness, and in essence our value. Similar to Hunt’s artwork, our true colors are revealed and polished through our collision course with life.
“Visually I have always been stimulated by change, color, light and space. So what I wanted to do was find a new way to add value and “create" color through a completely negative process. The idea of the gun represents both the logical and final conclusion of an eraser while epitomizing the ultimate Western, or American, tool.” -NEH
Each unique piece has been laser cut, polished, anodized, and painted with ten or more layers of oil based enamel before being shot with different guns and a multitude of bullets based on desired visual effect.
“Even though the process of creation is quite destructive, the outcome results in the creation of something strong, beautiful, uplifting and positive." -NEH
Although his installation calls to mind discussions about the Second Amendment and the place of guns within American society, Hunt moves the dialogue away from national politics as he artfully comments on the idea of using this study as a way to determine the effects of specific bullets on paint. "Like picking the appropriate brush or color." He also treats his colorful squares as ideas of the self, full of imagination and prospects, that life’s challenges hit while adding character and revealing something about each piece. The various sizes of bullet holes seen throughout the aluminum panels stand for the different experiences a person endures throughout their life and how it adds value to them. Also, It is important to point out that each piece is painted with six layers of different paint. Thus, the impact of the bullet reveals different colors. As a result, rather than seemingly destroying the pieces, the bullets give character to their surface by, literally, adding depth and texture to it. The idea of adding to art by taking away from it was best exemplified by American painter Robert Rauschenberg who in 1953 intentionally erased a painting executed by Abstract Expressionist Williem DeKooning. Through his own sensibility, Hunt engages with Rauschenberg’s conviction that subtracting and erasing can, ironically, bring in substance and value.