Swiss-born multimedia artist discusses surrealist work with senior art class


Credit: Conor Thompson

Sydney Fener

Swiss artist Nicolas Party visited the AP Studio Art senior class Feb. 9 to discuss his work and career with students. Party not only creates paintings, but also public murals, ceramics and installation works. He is known for his style of landscape and portraiture that combines an older medium with refreshing ways to represent the world. His medium of choice is soft pastel, and his compositions achieve a familiar yet unsettling quality, which students like Leanna Fodor ’21 said they found very compelling.

“[Party’s] style is very surreal and different from a lot of what I’ve seen, which really intrigued me,” Fodor said. “I also found it cool that he used pastels rather than paint and that he used different-colored backgrounds for his paintings opposed to the traditional white gallery wall.”

Fodor also described a noteworthy project of Party’s that used large mannequin heads and said that she was interested by his focus on concept of size.

“I also was really inspired by his more modern, cartoonish takes on traditional landscapes, portraits and still lifes,” Fodor said. “The clash of modernity with tradition has always been a very alluring concept, and I look forward to exploring that.”

Students give their opinions about Party’s work

Greta Zumbrunnen ’21 said they agreed that Party’s pastel medium was intriguing and that they wanted to try emulating his style.

“I thought it was really interesting to see the process of how the artist works particularly because he works in a medium I have little experience with,” Zumbrunnen said. “It was kind of like getting a miniature masterclass, and it has certainly piqued my interest in expanding into that medium.”

Ben Brill ’21 said he admired Party’s workshop and his detailed notes.

“I think my biggest takeaway was his discipline and the way he works up to a major exhibition,” Brill said. “Seeing his sketchbook was really inspiring.”