The Montreal-born Nicholson lives and works in Berlin. Although he has no formal artistic training, he has taught himself to produce remarkably well-rendered paintings employing old-master technique and aesthetic. Seeing Nicholson's oil paintings in reproduction is like reading the Cliff Notes version of Shakespeare - the themes are lurid enough to be entertaining, but without the extraordinary language, the bawdiness and blood can be mistaken for pulp. Nicholson's theatrically realist pictures appear flat in reproduction. But stand in front of them, and the skin he paints looks like flesh, the faces are disarmingly mobile, expressive and alive, and the environments he creates are as dense and dimensional as real space. One after the other, they evoke comparisons with the deft technique and sensational, brutal subject matter of Delacroix, Caravaggio, Gros or Gericault.