Profile: Nicholai Khan


“Seeing the lights at Rockefeller Center and Fifth Avenue was inspirational.  What made the transition to NYC more exciting was the trains and graffiti scenes in the 1980s.  Art was everywhere.” says Nicholai Khan. Nicholai Khan knew at a young age that he was drawn to art, more so towards making things with his hands. As a child, he wanted a toy castle from the "He Man" series, but knew that his parents could not afford it.  He decided to create his own "Castle Grayskull."  He was very pleased with his creation and realized that his creations would become a lot more than what they were at that moment.

At eight years old, Khan and his family moved to New York. Moving from Trinidad to New York was a memorable transition for an artistically inclined child. Khan traveled with two bags of clothes, art supplies, and  his "Castle Grayskull" by his side. Over time, he experimented with various  mediums and materials such as: walls, different types of markers, metal based paints, spray paints, oil paints, wood fillers, rivets, gold leaves, plants, already painted canvas, wood and even gold-dipped cannabis.

Khan is not just interested in how his masterpieces turn out but also how his viewers perceive his work.  To him, art is a way to spread enlightenment. To inspire people through art takes determination.  He researched quantum mechanics, meditation and studies with religious leaders such as Catholic Priests, Buddhist, Indian Gurus, Monks and other spiritual leaders so he could have more dimension in his work.

Khan has received formal training from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Illustration and continues to expand his techniques by studying different art form that include sculpture and painting. A lot of his new work stems from humankind's place in the universe, the energy around us, imagination, the delicateness and the vicious nature of the planets we live on, freedom of spirit and mental evolution.  The exposure of various cultures and religion has been a major contributing factor for the focus of his creative process.

Khan is not only an artist, but also an author.  He wrote and illustrated a picture book titled "Nicho the Tiger: Create Your World".  This book is used to teach in schools where art programs have been cut. The book's focus is to not only teach children the joy of art but also the joy of creating. Khan's book is also used in community youth programs to help teens focus aggression into constructive outlets like art.

“Art is everything to me.  Anything that is formed from inspired thought brings us to a higher state of being” he says. He looks at art as a gift and should be paid forward.  He would like to share art with the world.