Nick Moss was raised in Metamora, Michigan. Having worked on an intensive crop farm and with an industrial contracting company, Moss studied welding and metal fabrication before relocating to New York City in 2007. In 2008, Moss joined Traeger Wood Pellet Grills and was given full control of creation, concept, and industrial design including re-engineering, where the product was made primarily of steel. By 2014, Moss moved towards pursuing his artistic practice, continuing to experiment with welding and steel which later developed into his unique process of art fabrication today. Moss makes all his work entirely by hand without studio assistants, through a process that’s highly dangerous and requires dexterity and attention to detail while behind a full face welding helmet. Moss is based out of upstate New York.
“I have steel in my blood,” Nick Moss said. Given his life-long relationship with steel, his familiarity with it, and his technical mastery of it, it seems inevitable that he chose it as his medium. Moss didn’t want to make steel sculptures, as he refined his unorthodox process and explored imagery and narratives. While the recalcitrant, exacting and potentially dangerous medium is not for the fainthearted, Moss found its challenges exhilarating. His production is all made by hand, all one-offs, and it is crucial for him that he executes his works himself.
Moss has substituted sheets of steel for canvas and welding guns for paint and brush, deploying them with the same deftness and delicacy as a painter. He also searched for ways to present his “steel paintings,” ultimately devising an elegant structural solution. Learning how to appropriately control the flow of heat and gas was also critical to his equivalent of a “brushstroke”, since temperature alters the quality of the line, from the granulated and rough to the incised and smooth.