If you've been to MoMA in New York City in the last year, you might have noticed an artist offering to paint bold, abstract portraits for $50 each at a sidewalk booth on West 53rd Street. His name is Mark Nilsson, he's 25 years old, he grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York, and he studied painting at the State University of New York at Purchase. When he's not on the sidewalk waiting for clients, he's inside the museum admiring the work of Cezanne and Matisse.
According to the profile done by The New York Times, it's clear that Nilsson is representative of many "starving" artists who aren't willing to compromise their integrity, even when potentially lucrative opportunities are on the table. He once turned down someone who asked if he would paint a photograph of their child, saying, “I don’t paint from photos." He has an unbridled passion for what he does, and his ambitious character is undoubtedly inspiring.