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Kristian Adam

A self-taught artist in nearly every medium, Kristian Adam's paintings use a host of whimsical and childlike characters that reflect our roles in society and reveal the consequences of our actions on the future. These imagined creatures -- NymNums -- are what you might expect to see wandering around in his mind all day. Through a variety of techniques inspired by the old masters, this Canadian-born artist creates quirky narratives for his characters to tell. His work has been displayed in the Canadian Embassies of Japan, Korea, and China, as well as featured in books and television. He exhibits regularly throughout Vancouver, BC and in galleries around the world.

The NymNums first arrived in 2009 in an exhibition featuring over 60 paintings and drawings and a book of ten illustrated short stories. These unique anthropomorphic animals served as the prototype for Kristian’s Animalopolis exhibit the following year, an even larger collection of characters and short stories, published in limited edition through Crow Toes Quarterly. 

Kristian approaches each show with a common idea that threads through each painting. In exhibits like Flombagoo and Pandacorn Park , his animals take on humanistic roles, acting out the various functions and tasks that society doles out. While his works have an amusing first impression, they also force a self-reflection on the peculiarity of our habits and responsibilities. His recent exhibits continue this tradition, combining themes of nature and invention from the humorous perspective of these strange animals.

His earliest inspiration came from his surroundings while growing up on a small farm in Northern Alberta. Kristian firmly believes that it is vital for everyone to realize their biological roots and to understand that they are part of nature, not separate. This belief can be seen throughout all his work, especially his Organics, which are a series of biologically-inspired surreal landscapes that he regularly displays. Aside from nature, he also draws on inspiration from a wide variety of influences, such as Dr. Seuss and the Codex Seraphinianus, to create his wild landscapes and devices.

Born in 1978 in Edmonton, Alberta, Kristian has always enjoyed making art. In high school, he learned airbrushing from books and magazines, and from there his passion materialized. He graduated from Grande Prairie Regional College in 1998, and then went on to pursue fine art studies at the University of Lethbridge. He currently lives and works in Vancouver, BC.