Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicholas Kontaxis. Krisann and Euthym Kontaxis share Nicolas’ story with us below.
Please kick things off for us – where does his story begin?
Nicholas is a 22 year old artist from Rancho Mirage, California. His road to becoming an artist is unique and expressed in his positive, vibrant, complex work. Nicholas was diagnosed with an extensive brain tumor at 15 months of age and has intractable and frequent seizures (over40,000 to date).
He also has autistic features as a result of the tumor, with severe speech delay, perseveration, processing delays, and motor dis-coordination. He has had brain surgery for the seizures and has endured much over his young life, but somehow manages to smile, take each day as a positive gift and bring joy to all who encounter him. He has a unique spatial capacity, and according to one of his neurosurgeons, it is expressed in his work.
In high school, his mom discovered his talent for painting after many failed attempts at other vocational endeavors and found his niche through art. He creates his work in a laborious multi-step fashion involving extensive layering of brilliant colors that he selects and places on the canvas in an intricate pattern.
In light of his motor difficulties, each step is an adventure with the palette knife. He has a passion for “working” on his art and spends hours on end creating his pieces. All of Nicholas expressive juices are revealed in his artwork, and he gives each piece a name… “Breakfast” and “You can go Jump” which confirms the expressivity of his work.
Most of all, Nicholas goal in life is to give joy to others personally when he is with you, and in absentia, through his wonderful art pieces. His work has caught the attention of many collectors and galleries. He had 3 sold out shows; Los Angeles (DeRe Gallery in March 2017), Sun Valley, Idaho (Gilman Gallery August 2017), and Palm Desert, Ca (Heather James Gallery) and an upcoming show planned in Chicago.
He has over 200 works and has sold close to 150 paintings. His work was displayed at the LaQuinta Museum in May 2017 in a dedicated show. He has done commissions for Kaiser Permanente hospitals, ACE 3 Restaurant in the El Paseo Hotel. Private collectors include Roger and Mirka Federer.
Has it been a smooth road?
Nicholas medical issues are severe; many physicians recommended institutionalization due to the severity. His father (an emergency physician) and mother, however, worked very hard with the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, his neurologist and caregivers to provide a home environment that would be minimally restrictive, but safe and supportive to his many medical, behavioral and emotional needs… He is active in our church community and in the community at large.
Financially, it was a huge burden, and there were significant burdens in terms of family life, etc, but our faith and his positive attitude despite numerous setbacks allowed him to reach the point he is at today. Our other two children have done exceptionally well and were inspired by their brother. His mom went through breast cancer treatment in 2010, likely impacted by the stress of raising a special needs child.
We all see Nicholas rocky road as inspirational, he communicates through his art, which gives us much joy. His struggles medically can be heartbreaking as parents, but his attitude is inspirational. We prayed that he would find a purpose in life and be able to contribute and hopefully support himself. Through his faith and his art, he has.
Is there anything else you can share with us about his work?
Modern artist Nicholas Kontaxis from Palm Springs, CA creates large-scale abstract paintings, characterized by a riot of primary colors. His repetitive inclinations and love of texture and shape helped Kontaxis discover his talent as an artist. In the last three years, he has become a prolific painter, creating more than 200 complex pieces, using heavy body acrylic paints and a battalion of pallet knives.
Most recently, Kontaxis has completed numerous significant commissions, including those for Kaiser Permanente, a 31-foot stunner for the AC3 Restaurant at El Paseo Hotel, and the Los Angeles Chargers. The success of his first three exhibitions at the De Re Gallery in LA, the Gilman Contemporary in Sun Valley, Idaho, and Heather James Fine Art in Palm Desert, CA, resulted in record crowds, near sell-out shows, and multiple commissions.
Kontaxis’ next show will be in Chicago, IL this November.
What is “success” or “successful” for Nicolas?
Success is taking whatever God-given gifts we have and using them to reveal authentic beauty, communicate love, and inspire others.
- Works small to large have sold from $1,200 to $25,000 depending on size
- Address: 44489 Town Center Way,
Suite D Box #361, Palm Desert, CA 92260
- Website: Nicholaskontaxis.com
- Phone: 760-221-8928
- Email: NicholasKontaxisart@gmail.com
- Instagram: nicholaskontaxisart
- Facebook: @nicholaskontaxisart
photo: Tali Song Roth