Nick is our sixth featured 2019 artist in our fourth 7x7x7 Series, which asks 7 questions to 7 Charlottesville artists and published once a week for 7 weeks.
If you had a free afternoon in Charlottesville what would you do or where would you go?
I would, assuming the weather is nice, take a walk downtown with our dogs—we live close to downtown. I might take them to one of the parks—I love Darden Towe Park—and run them around. I love the food in Charlottesville. I love Lampo and so many others.
Describe your artistic work in 7 words.
Tension balance space shadow materiality natural unnatural
Who or what inspires your current work?
Currently I have been taking inspiration from my job—I am a knife maker. I have been learning a lot of new skills through that, just in terms of getting comfortable on different kinds of machines or learning new forging skills. Having a space to work in a more detailed way. I have also been really inspired by abstract expressionism—it’s one of my favorite genres. My mother is an artist so I also take a lot of inspiration from her, and I am also super inspired by materials.
Consider one piece you’re working on right now. Give us a snippet of your routine—from start to finish, what goes into making it?
Sometimes I start with a sketch, sometimes I don’t. I often start by thinking of the materials that I would want to use and I sometimes start with a small model and I will build off of those. Especially with larger pieces it is easier to start small. I usually have a general idea of what I want to go for—but I let how the materials unfold and how the process goes guide the process.
What have you learned about yourself as a person through the experience of making art?
I have been making art, I guess you could say, for my whole life. Since my mother is an artist and my father works in an art gallery. So I’ve been surrounded by it my whole life. Art is a way for me to say what I am feeling without actually saying what I am feeling. There is some kind of sensitivity that has to be involved in making art.
What would you like to see happen in Charlottesville to better support artists in our community?
That’s a great question. I think for the size of Charlottesville there is a strong artist community. You could just say more of everything when it comes to supporting artist here, but there really are lots of great resources here.
What is currently on your studio/work desk?
I work out of the knife making shop—so I have way more tools than I fundamentally need, which is a blessing. I would love to have a welder at all times, some kind of torch, hammer and anvil, grinders, and sandpaper.
The opinions expressed in this interview are solely those of the artist and do not necessarily represent the policies or positions of NCAI.
Nick Watson is a sculptor currently living and making in Charlottesville, Va. He graduated from The University of Virginia in 2015 with a studio art degree, and in 2016 he completed the prestigious Aunspaugh fellowship for the arts, awarded yearly to several of UVa’s most promising studio majors. He makes his livelihood crafting one of a kind culinary knives, through processes closely related to those implemented in his sculpture. Nick’s artwork is founded in a childhood surrounded by art––from time spent in his mothers home studio, to his fathers New York City gallery––and informed today by the movement he finds in the world around him. He is represented by Le Yeux du Monde.