How many times have you subconsciously rolled your eyes at someone hunched over a sketch book at a bar? No way could any serious artist be creating anything worth ogling in such a tiny sketchbook, right? In the case of New York-based artist Nicolas V. Sanchez, you would be wrong. So wrong.
Sanchez is one of those artists that possesses the rare talent of creating sometimes eerily photo realistic drawings using nothing but a piece of paper and a ball point pen. Always armed with a small notebook, the artist sketches away on trains, sidewalks, you name it – but the end result is far from your average caricature.
Using multiple shades of ballpoint pens, Sanchez carefully captures the minute wrinkles of a woman’s face or the fine hairs of a cow’s hide. His website breaks down his artwork by medium (paintings, charcoals, drawings) but it’s the notebook section that is especially transfixing. They are filled with carpal-tunnel inducing drawings that provide insight into his travels, family, and identity.
Sanchez frequently uses his artwork to explore his bi-cultural upbringing by sketching out scenes from his Midwestern home town to the farms of Mexico. All of his work starts as a small sketch, which frequently plants the seed of inspiration to create a larger scale painting. Intriguingly, what may start as a highly detailed sketch often evolves into a more figurative expressionist painting.
Originally from Michigan, Sanchez received his MFA from the New York Academy of Art. Since then, he has been commissioned by publications like Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, and VOGUE Italia. He exhibited his work at this year’s Venice Biennale and has been featured in solo and group shows throughout the US and Europe.