I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing Nikki’s intense and strange portraits and self-portraits that are realized through her own inventive method in the use of pastels, often using acid colors. She creates scenes that fuse episodes from her own life with fantasies and art history and, at times, when looking at Nikki’s work, I think of Cindy Sherman fused with Egon Schiele.

Here, the episodes in her paintings range from experiences in China – where she’s spent considerable time in recent years, and was the first foreigner to have a solo exhibition in Chengdu – to her benign and humorous stalking of an exploitative collector, to inner moments of angsty claustrophobia and empathetic portraits of a chosen few (rarely herself.)  Of these, I was especially attracted to her portrait of a senior woman, who seemed to be snapping me with her iPhone while I was photographing Nikki’s work.

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