Beautiful Chaos - A vision brought to life by two local artists.
I recently connected with an old friend, and reached out in hopes that we could get together to create some art. You see our art is very similar. Both of our work allows us to express our creativity, our heart and passion, just using different platforms. My art is through photography, and Niko's is through painting.
We got together at his beachfront family home and Niko was like a kid in a candy shop, eager to show me around. He gave me the grand tour of the beautiful house he and his siblings grew up in. After roaming the inside, he showed me their backyard, overlooking a stunning view of Cordova Bay Beach. I knew we had to take some photos back there, but before we began, I wanted to see his paintings. As we continued the tour and Niko showed me the down stairs, we ended up in the basement, which he had turned into his own little art studio. I could tell that many years had been spent down there, painting, drawing, sketching and creating. There were spray paint cans laying around and bags of charcoal tangled between piles of old rags, wet paint brushes, boxes full of pastel crayons and big black sharpies. It was beautiful chaos, like a giant showcase of his art, nestled in the downstairs of his family home.
Niko said to me, "I obviously can't paint here forever. I haven't yet found a rental studio in downtown Victoria that's big enough for me to paint and store my paintings, so this is where I work for now. I hope to have a downtown artist's loft one day where I can live and work. That would be the dream."
His dark, tucked away studio made me feel instantly inspired. I knew how I wanted to photograph his art, and I know I wanted Niko to be the main focus. Together, we rearranged some furniture in the upstairs living room which had natural light pouring in. I wanted to bring his paintings out of the dark and into the light! It was like we were putting his canvas (literally) onto mine.
After photographing Niko and getting to know him, this is what I learned.
Niko Mavrikos is a self-taught contemporary artist living in Victoria, BC. His artwork involves a variety of mediums from acrylics, oils, drip inks, oil sticks, charcoal, graphite and spray paint. This allows for depth, texture, and bold-vibrant colours in his work. He aims to create engaging, invigorating work with key themes influenced from his travels, music, pop culture, and life experiences.
"I’ve always had a passion for art and enjoyed visiting galleries as a youth and still enjoy them today. Last summer, I spent a few weeks in Europe visiting museums and galleries. Within these institutions, I found inspiration and drive to create stronger art. There is certain gravity to the art that I saw being showcased; I found it to be truly motivational. After these visits, I began to look at my own art from a different point of view. I sought to find more autonomy in my work. This point of view made me take my artwork more seriously and it became a true passion. I’m trying to make art that you can feel.
When I create a piece of art, I start with thinking about what I would like to accomplish and what message I want to send. Each piece comes from different inspirations, whether this be the music I’m listening to, a film just watched, a conversation I have had with a friend, or a place I recently traveled to. The goal is always the same: to create art that I want to see in the world, art that has purpose and art that will still be relevant when I die.
Currently, I am finishing up a few pieces that deal with human nature, emotion and every day familiarities. I use a lot of layering and wordplay within these pieces and aim to maintain a parallel aesthetic. It is always exciting to see them come to life. My newest series that I am working on is titled, “Signs of Our Times”, which is inspired by recent developments within our society and the crucial state we are currently in. I look forward to showcasing my new work.
In the next couple of years, I plan on refining my craft while working with new mediums. I also have ambitions to dig deeper on specific subjects that I am currently reading about and portraying those thoughts onto canvas for my viewers to enjoy. I love to create and have fun when I paint; however, there is definitely a goal in mind to create lasting art. I know the value of my work and I protect my work until I am satisfied with each piece. Europe has always been an inspiration and if I end up in galleries over seas someday that would be both rewarding and incredible. Only time will tell."
After photographing Niko in this gorgeous, art filled space we created, I wanted to take some photos in his backyard. The terrace nestled in the trees had a breathtaking ocean front view, which made for the perfect backdrop. We changed outfits, and scenery. Niko was a natural in front of the camera, and together, we made some wicked, sexy art. Much like Niko's paintings, these photos gave me all the feels! Mission accomplished! I hope you enjoy my photos and the story behind Niko Mavrikos, and the beautiful chaos that is his art!