Nashid Chroma is Capturing the Innate Humanity of our Favorite Figures through his Neo-Pop Paintings

RINGLEADER Magazine
5 min readAug 5, 2021

There is quickly a point at which recreating cultural imagery can take on a cultural identity itself. Art these days boasts nothing if not myriad possibilities, especially for artists who’ve got the touch. The re-envisioning, the process, the curating of a style not quite ever explored before, yet under the banner of ghostly familiarity in two directions: both towards an image’s original form and also towards the contemporaneousness from where it has been re-sourced; re-imagined. And at the broad scope of those many creative and cultural intersections, Nashid Chroma’s art is quickly capturing its own corner of pop culture’s modernist lens. To see how Chroma sees is to grasp the abstractly innate in something seemingly straight forward, pulling out an inner, oft-sensitive identity from a web of studied but necessarily assumed postulations, meticulously curating a visual re-understanding of a subject who was at first captured by a photographer or by the cultural cloth at large, and then redefined — rebirthed — by the artist’s digital brush strokes. In his work, a viewer finds comfort in their understanding of who it is they’re seeing, yet a new understanding — and an always beautifully, respectfully orchestrated understanding at that — in that same recognizable subject. Flowers, architecture, and music tend to triangulate the mystère in Nashid Chroma’s digitally painted portraits, while each of our own preconceptions on and intrigue in cultural figures and points of interest draw his artwork’s baseline familiarities to our inner selves. His artworks are a more than a new paintjob on a classic car. They are instead a deeper identity exercise exploring those who through our own love for culture, Chroma’s viewers wish to know better.

Nashid Chroma is by birth Nashid Chowdhury, and he’s a Toronto-based artist with roots in both art and architecture. Take one look at his work, and that resumé certainly checks out. Somewhere in that dichotomy of masteries, his precisely detailed paintings blur the lines between the intently form-driven exactitude of a draftsman, and the otherworldly nuanced reimagining of a digitized impressionist — not removing perfection from the work of classicists and realists like his 19thcentury predecessors, but infusing parallel, more floral realities into our own. Intently redrawn from starry photographs of some of the world’s most recognizable modern musicians from hometown heroes like The Weeknd and Drake to posthumous visual poetry on figures like Mac Miller and XXXTencion; re-imagined from keystone images of historic figures ranging from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Ruth Bader Ginsburg; fusing single-line drawings with bloomy brushstrokes; coalescing explosions of color with muted backdrops; re-imaging a more beautiful, colorful, and flowery reality for viewers to immerse themselves in.

Or to wear. Also a product of our modern lives by way of his wayfinding business mindset, Nashid Chroma not only produces new works nearly every week, but sells his paintings in both gallery format to hang at home, and as crewneck sweaters and tee shirts to adorn. And in today’s intersections of fast fashion heading head-on into youthful generations scouring vintage stores for something with more character and heart, Chroma is acting as a modern reinventor of the way we look at art, and the way we consume clothing. Hopefully, a fan purchasing his work treats it more like a work of art than a disposal, wasteful article. And in the very nature of wearing art, Chroma is not only touching his fans, but connecting to the lives of others each time one of his shirts catches the attention of a stranger.

One doesn’t have to buy his work to appreciate it. As Nashid Chroma puts it, ‘galleries didn’t want [his] paintings. So [he] made Toronto [his] gallery.’ Exhibiting his work — oftentimes in rotating, digital form — at 40 bus shelters, 40 bike share stations, and two billboards throughout Toronto, and turning the citywide display into a scavenger hunt for his Instagram fans, Nashid Chroma can also add street artist, social media magnate, and as many of his impressionist and street art predecessors have also embodied, anti-hierarchy self-exhibitionist, to his list of titles.

It seems fitting that amongst the musical stars past and present, the actors, the fashion designers, and the political heroes, Nashid Chroma’s online gallery also boasts a vivacious painting of Vincent Van Gogh, not because his style is a representation of the impressionist master, but because his art is setting an internet era precedent for the kind of artistic renaissance that can redefine culture’s now pop art nonrealities in the ways that Van Gogh’s redefined creative expectation 150 years ago. For the digital age, and for those people of the limelight whose own work we cared about yesterday, care about today, and will are about tomorrow, Nashid Chroma is capturing them in ways we’ve never seen before, but always innately felt about their deeper personhood. He is exploring their personalities through a richer glimpse at what may lie within; exploring the possibilities of art through a more human connection to something more than the detailed existence we see. Instead, by seeing Chroma’s artwork, we feel something more nuanced and softer about the people, places, and things he chooses to portray, and in turn, have a chance to feel as though we, too, all boast our own fluorescent and vibrant identity just waiting to be captured by a new artist paving a new path forward for Neo-Pop digital art with undeniable soul.

READ THE ARTICLE + OTHERS LIKE IT ON SITE:

https://www.rngldr.com/profile-nashidchroma

--

--

RINGLEADER Magazine

RNGLDR Magazine is a small, independent online blog focusing on the creative worlds of music, fashion, art, design, and photography. For more: www.rngldr.com