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The Bridge - Nick Sider keeps it real

Artist's work goes viral on social media

Nick sider 10 keeps it real story1 1

They aren’t photographs. They’re paintings. That’s the quickest way to describe the work of self-taught artist Nick Sider ’10, whose acrylics are taking the world by storm.

Social media has played a huge role in publicizing his work. Over the summer, he began posting videos of his painting process. Rapper 50 Cent then shared one of Sider’s videos on Facebook, causing a viral sensation of more than 25,000 likes and 7 million views.

Although Sider spent hours drawing in his room throughout childhood, he chose to skip art school and instead major in Christian ministries at Messiah. Although he tried the pastoral route for two years, he says he was at a loss.

“My parents reminded me my dream was to be a painter and that I should give it a shot,” he said, from his Brooklyn, New York, home. “I got a job as a waiter and started painting. In six months, I was able to start it as a career. Four years ago, I wasn’t even thinking of painting, but here I am. God was like, ‘This is what you want to do.’”


A significant portion of what he has learned as an artist has been through trial and error. Painting with watered-down acrylics, he builds layer upon layer of paint to create the hyper-realistic style for which he is now known. His inspiration comes from God, he says.

“I am able to create things based off what God created,” said Sider. “It’s a really cool connection through God that I never felt before.”

His latest work involves a series of paintings based on Syrian refugees.

Now an internationally known artist, Sider hopes to continue painting for a living. “There are a lot of hassles an artist has to deal with,” said Sider, “but me as a kid would be clapping for me now. This is what I always wanted to do. When I’m painting, it’s my favorite thing to do in the world.”

— Gabrielle Kurtz ’18