The king of pop art, formally known as Nelson De La Nuez, is a dynamic, passionate and renowned pop artist based out of Los Angeles, California. De La Nuez is one of the most sought after pop artists today – practicing with his vivid, large scale mixed media works borrowing motifs from the world of wealth, excess, and fame, incorporating themes of commerce, advertising and branding to deliver a deeper commentary on the culture of modern society. Notable clients include Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Warren, Howie Mandel and Kaley Cuoco, and his work is regularly exhibited at art fairs such as Art Basel Miami, Art Central Hong Kong and Art Market Hamptons. Here, Haute Residence sat down with De La Nuez for an in-depth look at his evolution as an artist, what his creative process is like, how his art resonates with collectors and more.
Haute Residence: What’s your day-to-day like?
Nelson De La Nuez: I’m out in the countryside on the outskirts of Los Angeles. I’ve got to be in a place of total seclusion so that I can avoid distractions. The kind of life I live is — I come home and/or I wake up and go to my studio. It’s my sanctuary. I can easily spend 14 hours there. It’s my go-to place to stay away from the rest of the world and focus on my work.
HR: What’s your creative process like when curating a new work of art?
NDLN: It really starts with an idea. The idea is the basis of everything. It always starts with an idea that you need to keep molding until it is great and you are certain it will resonate with the viewer. You structure the artwork around the idea you’ve built out and planned. When I first started out I always wanted to be an artist but I had no clue on how to get started. I took my work to the masses to see what would perform well with the crowd. You can create whatever you want to create and you may think it’s the best thing in the world [the art] but it’s only when you show it that you’ll be able to see if people are willing to pay for your work or not.
HR: How do you continue to evolve as an artist?
NDLN: It’s a constant process of chasing your own tail. You’re always trying to get better at what you do. It’s really about perfecting your craft. If you love what you do, then it is no longer considered work. Art is a way to express yourself. My art speaks to a lot of those people in the luxury [high-end] lifestyle. When they’re looking to add more art to their home or office, they turn to me and my art to express themselves through the art I’ve created.
HR: How does your art speak to art enthusiasts and collectors?
NDLN: Once you have your fourth home, a jet and yacht, the only thing left is art. My audience is the very high-end, wealthy and well-traveled individual that pretty much has it all and wants to either express themselves through buying a new Ferrari or plane or they invest in art as eye candy to put up in their house so that when people come by, it reflects a part of them.
HR: You have an impressive collector’s list including celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Kelly Clarkson, can you tell us more?
NDLN: I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I’ve sold to a lot of people in the entertainment industry, both in front of the camera and behind the camera. Kelly Clarkson is my latest collector and she actually stopped by my Los Angeles gallery for the most recent piece she acquired. When you’re in LA, and you do what I do, word gets around and people begin to express interest in collecting your work.