HAMTRAMCK, MI – Renowned street artist Nicky Nat is content these days. With wedding season kicking off across Metro Detroit, he knows that more and more people will be exposed to his work. Nat’s many murals and displays throughout the Motor City have become a favorite setting for wedding pictures. “I certainly didn’t set out to do it but it seems I’ve become the wedding painter,” he said.
Although painting is Nat’s first love, he’s beginning to find joy interacting with his many fans. “When I first started painting, I thought of it as a way to give back to a city that’s done so much for me. I saw so many vacant buildings and rampant blight. I felt I needed to do something–anything. I thought adding some artwork might brighten up someone’s day and give me a creative outlet. But now, it’s not about me. It’s not about depicting the struggle of the 313 and what this city’s been through. It’s about the women who grew up in Grosse Pointe. The ones who only make it down to The D for a Tigers game once a year. That’s who I’m doing this for.”
“It’s really a labor of love,” Nat continued. “I relish spending long hours huffing paint fumes and enduring back spasms so a future suburban housewife can show off her individuality and artistic taste. And if she’s making disparaging remarks about the crime rate of my hometown while doing it, all the better.”
To date, Nat has refused his many requests for commissioned work. Instead he uses his popular blog to make a living and to promote his impressive portfolio of street art. While all his pieces can be easily seen with a few clicks, it doesn’t compare to seeing his unique style in person.
“From time to time, I bring friends around to show them my latest creations,” Nat explained. “I brought fellow street artist ChamBo to see my favorite work to date. I call it ‘mama,’ in honor of my late mother. As we pulled up in Corktown, I saw that a couple had altered the banner from ‘Laura Remembered’ to ‘Lauren & Mark’s Big Day!’ ChamBo was pissed but I loved it. She wasn’t that great of a mom anyway. She was never around because she had to work 3 jobs to help put me and my sister through school. And furthermore, what artist doesn’t like their work being improved upon?”
Despite his popularity, Nat is not without his detractors. “One bride was quite critical of my use of color. She said it muddled the overall message and felt derivative. And you know what? She was totally right. I mean, she has an art history degree from a liberal arts college and I’m a design school dropout. She would know better than me. I just hope I don’t disappoint her next time!”