Nadeem Chughtai has been working as an independent artist since 2005, following a career in film as a scenic artist. Much of his work features a faceless character called the Nowhere Man, which he created after being inspired by the miniature scale figures found in architectural drawings on film sets.
The Nowhere Man has become a signature aspect of Chughtai's pieces, and has evolved into a character capable of conveying emotions to enchant the audience.
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Born in the early seventies in Epsom, Nadeem Chughtai spend his childhood in South London where he showed an early interest in drawing and sketching. Chughtai enjoyed a close relationship with his family and was encouraged from a young age to pursue and develop his art skills. To this day, he still values his parents' opinion on his new artwork more than the opinion others.
Art was unsurprisingly Chughtai's favourite subject in school, and the artist credits one of his A-Level teachers with introducing him to artwork that still inspires him to this day. Following school, Chughtai completed a foundation course at Epsom School of Art and Design, which involved experimentation in all areas of art.
He then undertook a course in illustration at Northbrook College in Worthing, which he once claimed "left a lot to be desired". It was during his time at college that tutors told him he wasn't skilled in drawing, despite getting top marks in his life-drawing classes. In defiance, Chughtai vowed not to draw again, instead learning more about photography and film-making.
During the summer of 1997, Chughtai took on a six-week unpaid work experience placement, working on the 1998 film The Avengers. It was here that he was shown scenic art for the first time, inspiring him to pursue a career in the artistic side of filmmaking. He subsequently became the assistant to artist Steve Mitchell, having met Mitchell on the set for 102 Dalmations. It wasn't until 2003 that Chughtai found his own studio space where he could produce his own paintings.
Once Chughtai began creating his own pieces his art took on a life of its own and, after encouragement from friends and family, he decided to try exhibiting his own work. Following continually positive responses, he entered the New Artists competition at the NEC in Birmingham. He won and took on a publishing deal with Washington Green.
Chughtai is a keen observer of everyday life, which is where much of his inspiration comes from. He also draws from his own thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Light and shadows, and the moods and atmosphere they create, are a main focus of his work, and he credits the "eerie images" of Edward Hopper as a major inspiration. Despite working on real-life scenarios, Chughtai likes to keep his paintings mysterious and open to individual interpretation.