You can see N.O.M.A.D.'s work up in galleries every so often, but you probably shouldn't bank on learning his real name. In fact, when he approached us to run “Urban Angel” on this week's cover of CityBeat, he insisted that we use his alias lest we get him in trouble for his unique brand of street art. Inspired by the likes of Shepard Fairey, David Choe and WK Interact, N.O.M.A.D (www.sdnomad.com) often uses the oh-so-clean streets, sidewalks and walls of San Diego as his canvas.
“I got into street art by utilizing what I was self-taught and being introduced to the whole idea of getting ideas out into the public without restraint or filter,” N.O.M.A.D. said via e-mail. “I basically stuck to wheat pasting posters, slapping up stickers and stenciling with the occasional wood / tile installation as my means of ‘getting up' and spreading [the] philosophy of my own brand of propaganda.”
But that's not to say he's a completely enigmatic cat who, dressed in a hoodie and some good running shoes, only comes out at night to paint the town red (so to speak). His sticker work has been published in Peel magazine and its first book, PEEL: The Art of the Sticker, and his fine art has been exhibited in galleries, music venues and art walks all over the city. He even has a show starting at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, at the fourth floor of the Front Building in Downtown (1146 Front St.). And for the people who do see his fine art and happen to meet him, he'd love to hear what they have to say, but he acknowledges that he'll never know how people feel about the art he leaves behind.
“I've had many interesting reactions to my work,” he says, “some giving me more depth into meanings of things represented in my paintings, but they've been mostly positive. As far as my street art and negative reactions, I never stuck around long enough to find out.”