Pose (Jordan Nickel) is a Chicago based artist and forerunner of Chicago’s golden age of graffiti.
He is part of The Seventh Letter, an acclaimed West Coast artist collective as well as being a member of world-renowned graffiti crew, Mad Society Kings (MSK).
Originally known for his progressive lettering, technical precision and bold, graphic style, the energy and impact of his original street level pieces hasn’t been lost in his latest studio work, maturing through a blend of both his immersion in graffiti as well as traditional sign painting - adding three-dimensional installations to his considerable repertoire.
He began practicing graffiti in 1992 before receiving a degree from Kansas City Art Institute in 2004, and later founding creative agency ‘We Are Supervision’ in 2005 (with fellow artist and photojournalist KC Ortiz), focusing on large-scale, hand-painted signs and billboard murals. After dabbling in commercial gallery work, around 2009 he began focusing on the transition full-time and hasn’t looked back. His work has been in extremely high demand ever since.
Combining humour and violence in equal measure through his application of collage, crisp, clean illustration, vivid colour and classic pop & comic art aesthetics, he layers and slices up various elements like a puzzle before recombining the fragmented pieces to form an intriguing cohesion of shapes and textures to stimulate the imagination - leaving his work open to interpretation. Referencing skateboard and advertising graphics, both pop/comic art and graffiti, he paints portraits of the human condition, re-appropriating the visual language of the street and consumer culture to convey emotions of pain, triumph, joy, fear, love and loss.
As well as promoting community engagement and outreach programs, Pose has painted large-scale murals all over the world. Most recently completing a big public arts project in Detroit, as well as being invited to collaborate on a now infamous mural for the illustrious Houston/Bowery wall in 2013 alongside fellow MSK artist REVOK.
“My artwork is pretty cut and dry,” POSE says. “I’m taking from the world around me - whether it be bits of signs, or my wife’s old, childhood books.”
“I get very obsessed with the work that I create. It yanks me out of bed early in the morning and doesn’t let me sleep at night. I get really high from the relationship I get with a body of work.”
“I try to push my art into new realms by creating new challenges for myself. I get bored quickly if the work seems redundant and I’m not learning anything new. I find myself the most inspired by challenges and uncomfortable territory.”