Modern artist Nicholas Kontaxis from Rancho Mirage, California, creates his signature large-scale canvases, characterized by a riot of primary colors, despite overwhelming obstacles. The 21-year-old painter’s story is one of perseverance and hope. Kontaxis was diagnosed with an extensive brain tumor when he was 15 months old. This resulted in intractable seizures, autism, and developmental delay. Intensive medical and behavioral therapy and intervention allow him a full life despite significant communication issues and between 5 and 15 seizures a day.

His repetitive inclinations and love of texture and shape helped Kontaxis discover his life calling as an artist. In just the last 3 years, he has become a prolific painter, creating more than 90 complex pieces. Using heavy body acrylic paints and a battalion of various pallet knives, he specializes in large, modern works of art. The pieces jump off the canvas and bring joy to all who view them. In the last 4 months, Kontaxis has completed many important commissions including those for Kaiser Permanente and El Paseo Hotel, and has displayed his work at the Heath Gallery in Palm Springs, the Gilman Contemporary in Sun Valley, Idaho, and the De Re Gallery in Los Angeles -- where a staggering crowd of 850 was attracted in just 4 hours. Upcoming shows are planned for Palm Desert, New York City and The Hamptons.