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Collage artist Daisy Nicholson on why she painted a room full of penises

TextViolet Conroy

Daisy Nicholson talks growing up in a creative household, dropping out of art school and searching for the right career path

The Dazed Beauty Community is our ever-expanding encyclopaedia of creatives and emerging talent from across the world who are redefining the way we think about beauty. From supermodels to digital artists to makeup prodigies transforming themselves in their bedrooms, these are the beauty influencers of tomorrow who embody everything Dazed Beauty is about. Discover them here.

“I’ve always been encouraged to be myself and express myself in whatever way I see fit,” says collage artist, make-up artist and creative director Daisy Nicholson. With an Instagram that boasts the outright bizarre, she cuts and pastes images of herself into transcendental artworks, made in either digital or physical formats. Then she starts all over again.

“Creating has always been a natural outlet for me, and my work usually aims to find beauty in the unusual and/or gruesome,” she says. This is reflected in the colour palette of her work – a mixture of blues, turquoises and greens all jostle for attention, but it’s the blood red hue that takes all the attention.

With a curiously wonderful-sounding solo exhibition called finally an exciting way to create stunning websites from within the comfort of your own home coming up soon, it’s her painting of a male homophobic in a room full of ejaculating penises which will shock the art critics the most. We cannot wait to see this.

Tell us about yourself and where you grew up?
I grew up in South West London in an intensely creative environment since my mother is an artist and my school had an amazing art department. I’ve always been encouraged to be myself and express that in whatever way I see fit, which has consequently led me to where I am today. Two of my friends and I host a lesbian club night called “Female Trouble” at Dalston Superstore which took inspiration from the 1974 film of the same name by John Waters. 

What do you do and why do you do it?
I’m currently a freelance artist doing collage portraiture in either a digital or physical medium. Creating has always been a natural outlet for me, and my work usually aims to find beauty in the unusual and/or gruesome. My paintings and drawings aim to give a very real representation of the subject through realism, which I think is very important today because of what's happening on social media with its heavily edited imagery.

What are you working on at the moment?
I'm working on a group of artworks for a solo exhibition in collaboration with my partner, called finally an exciting way to create stunning websites from within the comfort of your own home. All the works in the exhibition will be either visually or conceptually connected, using mediums such a painting, performance, film, installation, and sound art. The exhibition explores symbolism and communicating ideas in a comedic fashion. It includes a painting of a male homophobic in a room full of ejaculating penises and a double portrait of both of us holding the keys to the penis room called “Q is for King - Red Room.” I will also use overused pretentious ideas in art such as female nudity, glam femme males making stern faces and taking themselves very seriously - a commentary on Western modern issues by an ignorant modern artist. It’s all lighthearted in spirit, made to help make us laugh at ourselves every now and then by creating things we know the non-creative community hate.

You’ve opted to be cryogenically frozen in hopes of continuing the human race. When you’re awoken it’ll be your responsibility to kick-start the breeding. How will you wear your hair on your first date?
A pixie cut dyed white blonde, with wet look styling gel curing my baby hairs all over my face like a glamorous 20s socialite.

It’s the year 2100. You’re the owner of the largest beauty tech company in the world, what five products or treatments will you dedicate your resources trying to invent?
Rapid head hair growth shampoo to allow dramatically changeable hairstyles as often as you want, 24-hour eye drops that change your eye colour to get rid of the hassle of putting in contacts, digital make-up which lasts the whole day and night, magic nail polish which instantly gives your nails a perfect finish, all in one spray-on foundation and contour for a natural glowing finish and a hair cutting and dyeing machine which gives you the exact look you want.

You’ve had an accident which causes you to lose your sense of smell. The doctors can’t return it fully but can give you the ability to smell one scent. What do you pick and why?
The smell of the fresh mountainous Swedish air. It’s the most orgasmic, relaxing and reviving smell I’ve ever experienced and if I could create a marketable scent of it I'm pretty sure I'd be a millionaire.

A friend once exclaimed that when he dies he wants 'Weeping virgins carved from marble to be placed in a circle around his grave'. What would your ideal tombstone look like?
A glass box with my tomb underneath it, filled with the Swedish scent I was famous for and a romantic bunch of wildflowers.

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