Bengali-Canadian artist Nashid Chroma has been making art since he was a kid—and that’s led him to where he is today as a visual artist who creates stunning, colourful portraiture pieces filled with botanical imagery.
As a mostly self-taught digital artist based in Toronto, Chroma has paid tribute to some of the music icons he’s inspired by, including Frank Ocean, Kurt Cobain, Drake, Billie Eilish, and more. Part of his intriguing visual aesthetic involves covering his subjects’ eyes with objects such as flowers, which are integrated into his work in a bold, collage-looking style.
“These pieces take like 15 to 20 hours to paint,” he says.
“Like I can do a painting of Drake or Mac Miller and see how much work went into creating, you know, their platforms, their art forms. And that to me is something worth celebrating,” he says. “And I feel privileged to have the time and the patience [and the] ability to create works of art that do celebrate these people in a way that’s unique to me.”
As for his preference for creating art digitally, Chroma explains that the medium has its own distinct style and isn’t as easy to work in as some might expect. This is why he makes it a priority in ensuring others see its value: “So I find whenever I can advocate for digital art, I will,” he says. “And if you are able to look into my process and see how much work goes into it, and you can just watch me and you would understand why it is, you know, its own medium and it deserves to have recognition.”
His pieces are so distinct that they’ve become instantly recognizable all over Toronto, and they’ve landed in the homes of Raptors players such as Scottie Barnes and Dalano Banton, making him a face to watch in the city’s art scene.
In the latest episode of Northern Clutch, Complex Canada caught up with Chroma to learn about his cultural inspirations, his passion for art, and his upcoming collaborations.