Modern artist Nicholas Kontaxis from Palm Springs, CA creates large-scale abstract paintings, characterized by a riot of primary colors—despite overwhelming obstacles.
The 22-year-old’s story is one of perseverance and hope. Kontaxis was diagnosed with an extensive brain tumor at 15 months old which resulted in intractable seizures, autism, and developmental delay. Intensive medical treatment and behavioral therapy allows him
to lead a full life despite significant communication issues and suffering over 40,000 seizures to date.
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, and four solo exhibitions at the De Re Gallery in LA, the Gilman Contemporary in Sun Valley, Idaho, Heather James Fine Art in Palm Desert, CA, and Tao Chicago, IL.
“It’s a pleasure to work with Nicholas Kontaxis. I found his artwork to be striking from the moment I saw it, comparable to artists I’ve loved for years, such as Jasper Johns and Sam Francis. When I found out more about Nicholas Kontaxis and the daily struggles, his paintings and story drew me in even further. Nicholas’ paintings are some of the most inspiring works I’ve seen, regardless of developmental disabilities.”
Steph Sebbag, De Re Gallery Los Angeles
“Heather James Fine Art's enthusiasm for Nicholas Kontaxis’ work made the decision to do a solo 'pop-up' show for the artist an easy one. Our interest was piqued by the incredible talent of this young artist to create meaningful, energizing compositions through color and canvas.
His body of work illustrates the power art has to help overcome life’s obstacles. Painting has served as a respite for the artist over the years, helping ease some of the pain associated with daily physical challenges. Nicholas’ story is similar to that of numerous other prominent figures throughout art history; Van Gogh had temporal lobe epilepsy, which many believe contributed greatly to his expressionistic use of color; Matisse became wheelchair bound after surgery for cancer, and adapted his abilities to produce his now iconic cut-out series; Chuck Close is one of the contemporary art world’s most famous portrait painters despite being paralyzed and suffering Prosopagnosia, or face blindness.
We are honored and excited to share Nicholas’ work with his hometown in the desert area."
Montana Buetler, Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert