Nicole Nadeau is pretty f-ing rad. She’s an artist, designer, entrepreneur, New Yorker, hottie (idgaf), woman about town (don’t know if that’s a term), and all around sweetheart. I have respect for people who are really committed to living a true creative life. Nicole is in that category. She’s brilliant and multifaceted with her work and on-going projects. When I caught up with her at her place in the L.E.S, she poured me wine and I spent most of my time drawing an image of what I see when I’m flying in my dreams (because she’s producing a book on the subject, of course). That’s just the type of chick she is, super chill, super rad. Alright, enough gushing. Check out her Q&A below and get a gimpse into her world. Cheers!
How long have you been living and working in NYC?
I moved here in Fall 2005 for school (Parsons) and haven’t left
Can you comment on the state of art in New York City and what it means to you to be an artist working in New York City?
I Love New York and I love being an artist, but as of late I’ve felt like NYC is biting the hands that feeds it. NYC is known for its arts & culture, and the people that bring that here (artists) are being pushed out because high costs of living. I feel like NYC should support its artists more. It is really uninspiring and I think that will take its toll on this city. Once artists leave, the city will be operating without a soul, and will be left with an international real-estate and finance community.
You are Manhattan based while many of your contemporaries have moved to Brooklyn. What is it that keeps you here in the City?
I grew up outside the city and for me the pulse of New York is something I want to stay nestled inside of energy-wise. I don’t want to be on the outside. If I move out it will be to another city.
Your sculpture work seems (to me) to deal with the idea of permanence or impermanence, fragility, and the idea of a life cycle. (Pieces like “Nothing is Real….Constant”, A Conversation” Am I correct in my interpretation?
Yes, Those pieces from the body of work “Portraits of Origin,” stem from the awareness that the body is an unreliable, inconsistent, fragile tool. This awareness is heightened when we get older. The realization that the body can break down and is a structure. I am very inspired by the woman’s body and how it relates to things all around us in our environment and the universe. “Nothing is Real…Constant” was more of a mantra for me & a hopefulness that finds comfort in the unknown and impermanence. Setting up the same parameters and control setting hundreds of times and achieving different results every time. If one applies this to their everyday life, each day may seem the same & dull, but each day is really new and full of greatness if one can know how to see it.
You also seem to be interested or inspired by organic forms, or forms created by nature. How did this influence make it’s way into your work?
I love science and patterns in nature more than anything. Things that surprise me and get me excited are usually strange facts in science that happen in nature. Its magical, all of these great things are happening all around us, especially ones we don’t see. There is a lot of story telling in that.
You co-founded KNS Collective, an experimental studio, can tell me your motivations to with this?
My co-founder Kameron Gad and I met in 2006 and instantly got along and had the same visions. Kameron has a background in architecture, film, and art. I myself had a background in art and industrial design. We both really responded to the way design could be used as a tool and saw a grey area in between art and design that really intrigued us. We were drawn to the poeticism that could be found in an object. We wanted to tell these amazing stories, and have people discover these little secrets when investigating our work. www.knscollective.com
Your ‘art objects’ range from wearable pieces (y ring) to installation/performance (tableclothes) to conceptual commentaries on the presence of advertising (take back your space), to whimsical, tongue in cheek pieces (titty tiles). Tell me what is the thread that unifies all of these ‘art objects’.
Storytelling. With a sense of humor & poetics & sincerity. The rituals we make for ourselves everyday, and investigating those and reinterpreting or re-appropriating them. For me making art is like being a modern day alchemist -Having the power or process of transforming something common into a something special. Things that most people overlook and giving them value.
How do you think art can affect the way people interact with there surroundings and their community?
If people didn’t have art it would be one very dull world. It’s the soul of the community. Art gets to the inner worlds, creativity, imagination, and vulnerability. Without your soul you have nothing. It’s not a world I would want to live in.
What motivates you to continue creating?
I couldn’t stop creating if I tried. It comes from another worldly source that keeps pushing me, and agonizes my thoughts.
What other projects do you have going on that we may not know about?
Im always tinkering away in my studio, & KNS has a lot of art object projects on our plate, and happenings this summer and fall in the works. We just created these beautiful silver candle holders “All Night” which are cast from used melted down candles. Those forms have always been so attractive to me and mysterious because one can wonder what transpired over the use of those candles. KNS just showed those at FAb.com during NYCxDesign and kicked off the launch of there new showroom in Soho.
My other projects are fun creative projects for me that inspire my other work & keep everything fresh and keeps me engaged. I do the creative direction and run the arts initiative/art programs for a non-profit farm in Nicaragua, Finca Farms. I organize artists to come down and create work on site at the farm and also collaborate or teach & expose the community children to different types of art. It’s such a beautiful place with really wonderful people, its hard to come back to the city. When Im not doing that, I have a street style blog I started called www.hautedads.com, its just streetstyle fashion for Dads & their kids. Then I have a book or two I am developing “Flying Asleep,” which documents the way people fly in their dreams. Then My latest project is a documentary film, finding one of the last permanent residence in the chelsea hotel who left Nyc and hasn’t been seen since. I definitely need an assistant or two right now. I write everything down.
Can you describe your version of a perfect day?
Being in the sunshine, with great food, great music, surrounded by nature and laughs.
If you could be any where in the world right now, where would you be and why?
With someone I love. Because anywhere you are in the world, if your with someone you love, it makes that place the only place in the world to be.
And lastly, what is your favorite drink?
Tequila on the rocks (w/lime), or Spicy grapefruit margi with salt
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