I cannot think of an artist who is more committed or appropriately defines what we could still call Rock and Roll (or simultaneously punk, electro, reggae, jazz, free jazz, drum n bass, breakbeat, broken beat, house, classical and whatever else you want to throw in there). If Nomad were a journalist, he’d have cast a Hunter S. Thompson’esque profile. Then again, if Thompson focused on inventing instead of reporting, his legacy might resemble the one that Nomad is creating on a daily basis.
Humor is the line that connects the diverse body of work. Nomad makes you laugh in a situation that seconds earlier had you punching or holding back tears. At times it has been difficult for critics to locate his work as the output changes with each lived day and generally doesn’t communicate off the backs of existing references, but appears as the expression of a person humbly (and passionately) finding his way. This made Nomad difficult for people to categorize or link to singular traditions.
Plus, every night he seemed to be doing something different. Was he a photographer? A painter? A DJ?
When asked to compare him to other artists, I throw Caravaggio, Bill Hicks and Andrew Goldsworthy onto the bar stools, though it feels necessary to include a woman. As macho as the work can feel, it exhibits a sensitivity generally attributed to the more voluptuous gender. In this case, Sophie Calle comes to mind. First of all, because the soul of Nomad’s practice is about connections, but perhaps also because behind every painting, sculpture or image he produces, there is a concept as observation gets meshed up with mythology. There is also a respect for the ephemeral and no apparent drive to produce objects for preservation. Yet Nomad produces and things are preserved. He first received recognition has Europe’s most collected living artist, after receiving numerous reports of collections boasting one (and often many) of the 3000+ pieces he’d spontaneously created on the streets and in the last 20 months, his studio works and installations have been ending up in prestigious collections and while I told him only two years ago that he wasn’t a painter, recently his paintings have been compared to those of various Renaissance masters though Nomad is nothing if not an archetype representing the DNA of Counter Reformation.
Text by Harlan Levey from HL-Projects.com