Author: Poppy Malby
Haris Nukem is a North London-based artist who came to the United Kingdom as a young asylum seeker. Nukem has just finalised a fresh, new body of work showing in London’s Soho, called Faith. Entrance to the exhibition will be “pay what you can afford” and all the proceeds will go towards the charity Help Refugees.
Nukem’s models are pictured in unusual environments – from bathtubs to hallways – and the photographer tends to capture people who project an aura of rebellion and strength. Nukem emphasises freckles, tattoos, body hair and piercings in his dramatic use of contrast. However, there is more to this beauty revolt: Nukem aims to promote a chilling, grainy approach to portraiture. We spoke to him about where his inspiration comes from.
1. Where were you born?
2. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
As a bub I always wanted to be a comic book artist.
3. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? What is the worst?
Best advice I’ve ever been given is that most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do over two or three. Worst advice I’ve had is to become a company man…
4. Who is the one person, dead or alive, that you would like to have dinner with and why?
I’d probably chill with Jay-Z if I could. The guy’s an artist and entrepreneur who’s created worlds from his imagination. From his music to his record label, from his products and technologies to his venues, he’s a legend.
In our late teens and early twenties my friends and I used to watch Jay-Z, Gary Vee, Tony Robbins and Nipsey Hussle interviews all the time. These people gave me the belief to dedicate myself to a larger vision and to really begin my journey as a visual artist.
5. Where is your favourite place on this planet?
Croatia, with all the homies.
6. What is your phone screensaver at the moment?
It’s an idea drawing I did for one of my exhibition shots.
7. What is currently on your playlist?
“From Adam” by The Game, “No Role Modelz” by J Cole, “Norrland” by Gidge, “Dare” by The Hunna and “Seritonia” by Highly Suspect.
8. What are your last three Google searches?
“Nipsey Hussle”, “How to gold leaf stuff” and “Buy left air pod”, as I dropped mine down a drain last night.
9. What gives you inspiration?
The way that the world and our environment shapes the people who we become. I dig that. Learning about different philosophies and following the deterministic track of our own self-expression. Those are the places I explore if I’m looking for ideas.