Nicolas Party’s Pastels and Portraits

For July’s artist feature, I wanted to share the captivating art of Nicolas Party. With his bright, highly saturated creations, Party has reimagined how we can enjoy soft pastel artwork. He often uses everyday objects for inspiration, but you’ll see that Party’s visuals are far from ordinary. I’ve enjoyed taking a closer look at this artist’s impressive collection of work, and I can’t wait to feature some of my favorite pieces here on the blog.

About the Artist

Nicolas Party is a Swiss-born artist who has a talent for creating with a number of mediums, often opting for pastels. It fascinated me to learn how Party started as a graffiti artist, and worked in animation for a number of years. Party’s education includes the Lausanne School of Art and the Glasgow School of Art. The artist now lives and works out of both New York and Brussels.

Artist Nicolas Party standing with his sculptures.

Party gained attention for his bold use of color and unusual portraits. He’s done a number of group and solo exhibitions, and his work ranges from paintings and drawings to large scale murals and sculptures. There’s no doubt he has a very large variety of creations to admire. I’m excited for you to discover just a few of those today.

Party’s Artwork

Red Forest

This pastel piece shows a forest on fire, burning red.

This piece is a great example of how soft pastel can feel anything but soft. There’s an unsettling feeling that comes with this work, as the theme is a bit darker. I admire how Party can take a harsher setting and still make it visually appealing.


Canopy by Nicolas Party. It is a watercolor painting of trees.

Despite the highly pigmented shades used, there is something very soft about this piece. The watercolor gives a sense of balance, and I love how the edges fade into each other. The feeling of fluidity Party creates is remarkable.

Water Reflection

A piece of art showing ice bergs and their reflection in the water. An orange sun is seen in the background.

This work offers a feeling of serenity. It has a kind of stillness that I personally enjoy. I think all the rounded edges really add to this, there’s nothing too sharp about it. This is a great look at how Party can also convey a cool and calm feeling through his art.


Nicolas Party's head sculpture.

You’ll notice that Party tends to keep an androgynous theme throughout his figures. His creations are not specific to a gender, and they aren’t meant to resemble anyone in particular. I think this is a unique way for him to keep a similar theme among these human-like structures, though none of them look exactly alike.


An art installation by Nicolas Party.

How stunning is Polychrome? Seen at the Modern Institute in Glasgow, this solo exhibition is such a wonderful example of his incredible use of color. I love the silhouettes of the sculptures seen here. They almost seem to resemble ancient busts.


An art installation portraying jellyfish by Nicolas Party.

Finally, I absolutely adore this installation in Beijing. The deep blue used here almost makes it seem like we’re looking into an actual aquarium. My favorite is the contrast between the mural and the additional pieces hanging on the wall.

Hauser & Wirth Exhibition

Hauser & Wirth is an international mega-gallery, and currently represents Nicolas Party. The 38 year old is one of the youngest artists to be featured by the gallery. Right now, Party’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong is on display with Hauser & Wirth. The exhibition, Red Forest, can be seen through September 24, 2022.

I don’t know about you, but Party’s creations have given me a new appreciation for soft pastel artwork. It’s incredible to see all that can be done with this medium. Do you have a favorite piece? For another artist who is known for their bold use of color, check out Maya Hayuk. If you’re interested in seeing even more modern paintings, you’ll enjoy the work of Swiss artist, Sofia Pashaei.