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Nikki Ocean

My entire practice is a metaphor on fluidity and ambivalence:

My palette is constantly in flux as my work traverses an entire spectrum of emotion; color consistently subjects itself to alteration, subservient to the story being told. Mediums used to execute a vision vary, but all forms fall into representing a prevalent drift of themes: flow, introspection, existentialism, and spirituality. 


Painting is not limited to the literal use of paint either, for the word “painting” merely alludes to a studio that steadily revolves around the element of color, allowing me to employ an assortment of visual material stemming from its subject: imagery dealing with light and shadow, illumination, and how the color spectrum is experienced spatially.

“If this happened to be the last painting that you’d ever make, what would you want to leave this world with?” is a question I ask myself every time I begin working on a new piece. 

We oftentimes measure an artist’s value based on their accolades, or whatever else the critics have to say—but I’ve honestly never cared about those things. I’m not at all attached to the concept of “art as a career.” Not to say that I’m not extremely grateful when people support my work. Whenever you acquire a piece of art, what you’re actually doing is buying the artist more time to create; few are lucky to spend most of their days in the studio.

Art, so beautifully intimate, allows me to form these authentic and meaningful connections with other human beings, and that’s what I treasure about it most. As one who teaches and writes, it’s this unbound love for storytelling that propels me to paint things; to tell stories I have a loss of words for. Because of the temporary closure and uncertain future of so many art spaces and museums, a lot of us within the global art community concurrently question our place in this world; art deemed a luxury or non-essential. But I liken art to a place of prayer; more than a physical space, it’s the presence of this transformative light that moves us to be more tender and human.

After my last show, I decided to take a step back to truly figure out what it was that I wanted for myself—Not just in art, but around life itself. I wanted to be clear with what my intentions were. Today, God invites all of humanity to hold up a mirror in a standstill. How can we find meaning in universal reclusion? Will warmth, safety, peace, and love find its way home during a time of strife? Where does freedom lie in a world full of borders? How do we bridge our way back to the truth of our essence? 

When all feels lost, travel inward—today echoes a space for interior design. 

When this too shall pass, what will your home look like?


Instagram - @nikki__ocean