The atomic dreams of artist Nick Ringelstetter | Arts and Theater

The atomic dreams of artist Nick Ringelstetter | Arts and Theater

One of Nick Ringelstetter’s most enthusiastic patrons has collected at least six of the artist’s original paintings. Six instead of one or two.

Artist Nick Ringerstetter passes by the black-lit artwork created at the Atomic 7 studio in Spring Green. Ringer Stetter is one of about 500 artists on display at the 2022 Square Art Fair from July 9th to 10th.


“One day I finally said,’Hey, what do you do to make a living?'” Ringerstetter asked the art buyer.

“He said,’I’m a neurosurgeon. I love how your brain works.”

This is a phenomenon in which Ringerstetter has won the coveted spot seven times at the annual Art Fair on the Square. From July 9th to 10th, he will be one of nearly 500 artists at this year’s show and is expected to bring thousands of art lovers to Capitol Square. About 140 Wisconsin artists and artisans will be on display at the adjacent Art Fair Off the Square in downtown on the same weekend.

Atomic7 Studio artwork smoothing resin

Artist Jared Breyfogle uses a smooth resin on the surface of the artwork by Ringelstetter in Atomic 7 Studio in Spring Green, and Nick Ringelstetter on the back.


About a quarter of the artists at this year’s Art Fair on the Square are from Wisconsin. And 6% are from Madison. Calling his own genre of multimedia painting “pop psychedelics,” Ringelstetter is one of many creative and edgy stylists at the event.

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“It’s really a kind of thing of its own,” he said of his work. It combines dreamy images with pop culture references and color layers and layers. Created with spray paint, watercolors, acrylics, and even black oil-based sharpies, each of his originals is a visually captivating adventure.

The 2022 Square Art Fair will showcase everything from realistic landscape paintings to functional pottery to wearable art and jewelery. “A small part of what you see at the Square Art Fair is a neo-expressionist work of an artist like Jean-Michel Basquiat,” said Annick Dupatty, event director at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, which hosts the fair. I am.

Interior of Atomic7 Studio

Nick Ringelstetter’s longtime friend artist Jared Breyfogle walks through the previous garage that Ringelstetter converted to his Atomic 7 Studio.


In these works, Dupaty emails and viewers will find the undeniable impact of other contemporary visual stimuli such as digital technology, popular urban culture, anime, graphic design and murals.

“For example, before the 1980s, Jordan didn’t appear in the artwork because it didn’t exist,” Dupatta said. “And the younger generation isn’t keeping up with the hierarchy of art, and there are less restrictions on what can be included in the work hanging on the wall.”

“Many people in the medical industry buy mine, and I found mine because it makes me think,” he said. “They can see how my brain works.”

“I think I have a very active brain. It never stops. It’s always crossing the border. It always says,” Why stop there? Continue, continue. “

From a dream

Even Atomic 7 Studio, the name of Ringerstetter’s spring green-based art practice, came to him in a dream.

“I’m a very active dreamer,” he said. As a boy, he dreamed of making art and traveling. One night he dreamed that someone was wearing a T-shirt with the words “Atomic” and passed by, “a lot of Gold Seven was lying down.” “I knew if I had started a business. That’s what it’s called.”

Ringerstetter, 36, currently sells his work at art shows all year round and makes a living on a website that sells the original for about $ 8,000.

Right next to the country highway, self-taught artists work in a remodeled garage whose interior is itself a work of art. There are objects placed on the shelves and artificial cloth vines hung on the beams of the ceiling wrapped in jute. The room he built in the studio is dedicated to materials that glow in the dark.

Nick Ringelstetter Buffing Resin Coated Artwork

Nick Ringelstetter buffs resin-coated artwork at his Atomic 7 Studio in Spring Green.


Devoted to color theory and the science of color depth, Ringelstetter loves to use UV-reflecting materials and layering, “creating natural 3D effects … and almost deceiving your heart.” He said.

A good example: An original about 8 feet wide on the wall of the studio, based on images of monsters created by friends, family, and children in the community at his fundraising workshop called “Drawing Monsters with Nick.” ..

“Your brain sees depth through blue and red, so there are so many blues and reds in it that you can see that certain things are starting to pull away from the canvas.” He said.

Blacklight lighting in Atomic7 Studio

Inside Nick Ringerstetter’s Atomic 7 Studio in the green of spring, fluorescent art materials and artifacts are illuminated with black light.


“I’ve always been a big fan of’Where’s Wally!’. I’m growing up,” he said. “You are looking for Wald, but loved the fact that the artist spent a lot of time trying to make sure that all the other characters were different from the next one.”

“Strange science”

All Ringelstetter artwork is filled with painstaking details, and the original can take up to 4 weeks to paint. Some of his most popular sellers are his original canvas prints, covered with a thick transparent layer of epoxy resin. After carefully applying the clear resin and smoothing it with his hands, he slides the heat gun over each to eliminate air bubbles.

“People want it to shine more brilliantly because they can’t afford the original, but they want a print that looks like the original. That’s why I started this process. That’s what the Ringelstetter said.

Jared Breyfogle and his work

Jared Breyfogle is exhibiting his artwork for display at the 2022 Art Fair Off the Square.


Ringerstetter’s method is “every strange science project,” said artist’s longtime friend Jared Brayfogle. An eccentric music and 80’s-inspired painter, Brayfogle will showcase his work at the 2022 Art Fair Off the Square.

The two men knew each other because they worked at a farm shop on the outskirts of Spring Green when they were students. As a teenager, they often “make goofy movies in the woods,” Brayfogle said.

Atomic7 Studio painting materials

Artist Nick Ringelstetter presents some of the consumables used to create artwork in Atomic7 Studio.


“We always had a video camera and a sketchbook,” Ringelstetter recalled. “We did it for about a couple of years and then went on different paths.” But they remained friends, and a few years later, Braefogle had Ringerstetter prepare and travel to the art show. I started helping to do it.

Ringerstetter spends most of the year at shows in the Midwest, but in the winter he and Brayfogle head to Florida for an art show circuit. Last winter, they skipped renting Florida studio space and spent the season outdoors creating art.

Pour the resin

Nick Ringelstetter pours resin on one surface of his art print at Spring Green’s Atomic 7 Studio.


“This past winter, we sat outside every day and painted from sun to sun,” Brayfogle said.

Goal: Sell One Piece

In mid-June, both artists exhibited at the Spring Green Art Fair. Ringelstetter feels he’s particularly focused on the show because it’s where he got off to a start.

“In 2007, I couldn’t find the art I wanted to put on my wall. All the art I found was boring and not something I was interested in.

“So it cost me $ 200 to buy a canvas and some paints, and I made it myself. I drew 5 pictures and applied for the Spring Green Art Fair for fun. I did, “he said.

To the surprise of Ringerstetter, he was admitted that he was “forced to build an entire art booth in about four months.”

“My goal was to sell one, and on the first day I sold 13 out of 16. I went home that night and painted until 1am to fill the booth wall.”

“Without that show, I wouldn’t even know if I was doing this,” Ringerstetter said. “I am very grateful to the committee for choosing me. I was doing (art) just to do that. I just liked to do things, and it was random I did It was one of the things — and it changed my life. “

As for Art Fair on the Square, “When you apply,’Why do you apply for this show?'” And I answer, “It’s national by artists from all over the world. It’s an event. I want to show them that the artists around here are also talented, “Ringerstetter said.

“It’s home in a way. Spring green is our home, but Madison is our home.”



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