Taylor Lee Nicholson

December 2021’s Featured Artist

Artist Bio:

Taylor Lee Nicholson (b. 1990, Williamston, NC, they/them) is a multidisciplinary artist who loves to mix frivolity and creepiness for comically grotesque results. As an absurdist and a surrealist, Taylor has been told that they are like Pee Wee Herman if he was a depressed millennial influencer. Taylor transforms lowbrow, banal materials such as cardboard and tabloids into art to dissect themes like anxiety, consumerism, hyperreality, and parasocial relationships. Their work has been shown in numerous galleries and art spaces around the United States including Goodyear Arts, Charlotte; Artspace, Raleigh; and House of Venus, Boston. In 2017 and 2020 Taylor was an artist-in-residence at Arquetopia Foundation for Development in Puebla, Mexico, and will be joining Arquetopia in Italy for the Outstanding Alumni Residency in 2023. Taylor has collaborated with Oprah Daily, Vans, Microsoft Surface, Bojangles, Almond Breeze, and has been featured in Vogue, Design*Sponge, and Queen City Nerve.


Artist Statement:

My work critiques vapid, spectacle-driven social media culture and its isolating and deteriorating effect on identity. Within this realm of consumerism, a culture industry defined by terms such as followers, stories, and engagement rates, we have become cannibals, consuming each other and ourselves as products. We have also grown incapable of defining the blurry line between reality and hyperreality, simulation and simulacra, as our technology enables and encourages addictive and dissociative behaviors. My work aims to expose the grotesque beneath the veneer, but to do so with humor because if we weren’t laughing our way through this, we’d certainly be screaming.

I create surreal work such as paintings, sculpture, stop-motion GIFs and microfilms, Fluxus-inspired performances, relational art, and installation for immersive experiences in both digital and physical spaces. I operate within exaggerated kitsch, low-brow camp, and generate quick sculptures out of interesting garbage, like Black Friday coupons, tabloids, and tin foil. This “bad,” anti-art, like the social media content that it echoes, appears like bingeable junk food on the surface, but it raises questions about anxiety, consumerism, hyperreality, and parasocial relationships


The Artisan Palate