Nychos is no stranger to San Francisco. With several murals in the Bay Area and what is already an extensive list of exhibitions here, his work is recognizable. With Endless Layers till Consciousness, opening at Mirus Gallery on November 9th, we get to see the next evolution in his vast body of work – this time in three dimensions.
In an effort to be more self-reflective, the works in this exhibition are an exploration into the self and consciousness, peeling each layer away to reveal a sense of honesty and truth. Turning himself inside out, Nychos opens up his third eye and explores the boundaries of consciousness.
We got the chance to chat with the artist and hear what he thinks about his works in the exhibition.
It sounds like Endless Layers till Consciousness has a strong focus on anatomy and its ability to reveal truth. This is a very tricky time for truth. Do you feel that you were able to achieve a new level of honesty through this body of work?
In general, I do not concern myself with any kind of contemporary political issues within my art work. The truth that’s slowly starting to reveal in the show is a very personal matter. This has nothing to do with any happenings in the world. Things are changing within me. And, of course, I realize that things are changing in the world as well. This is unavoidable. For me as an artist, it has always been priority to work on myself before I start to interfere in global issues. For me, this only feels natural. Endless Layers till Consciousness is therefore definitely concerned with what is going on within me. This show is more of the beginning of a new me – as a person and as an artist. So yeah, I would say that I was able to achieve a new level of honesty towards myself. The art works and their message can be seen as a little glimpse of what is coming next.
How did you become interested in working three dimensionally? Why bronze and glass? Do you plan on continuing in this direction?
Well, I was always interested in working three dimensionally, it was just not in my range of skills and a question of capacity, also financially. Luckily, I was supported by Mirus Gallery, who made it possible for me to conquer the third dimension. The idea of working with bronze and glass came to me at my show in Australia, after we had a big project going on in New York. “Vienna Therapy” was a temporary installation at the Flatiron Plaza, to which I contributed a huge sculpture of Sigmund Freud and his couch. I kind of got hooked on working three dimensionally and my mind started working on ideas how to best capture translucency and the anatomy beyond. Glass and bronze merge perfectly. Like so often, the universe has opened the way for me to do it. Working in the third dimension is definitely something I want to do more. As I get older, I more and more feel that I’m not only a muralist or an illustrator. I’m really tempted to express myself in different ways. I can feel that my work was never meant to be only two dimensional. In general, my approach to work implies not to limit myself. I want to be open for everything that comes.
How do you transcend consciousness?
You don’t. I guess that’s the challenge of life. What is consciousness? That’s where the question starts. Where does consciousness start and where does it end? Does it ever end? These are things we cannot grasp. That’s why I named the exhibition Endless Layers till Consciousness. I can dissect for years, create layers for layers, I can go deeper and deeper, but I probably won’t arrive at the end. For me, this process is highly interesting. In this show, I am beginning to ask myself how I can dissect mind. This is the big question I’m facing in my upcoming work. My art will undergo a more metaphorically spoken visual transformation. Most of the things are still unfolding for myself and I’m thrilled to find out where this is going. One thing I can say is that I am going to face my art with a more emotional approach. My goal is to make my feelings visible for others.
The show statement talks about working from the inside out. Are you revealing anything about yourself in particular with this body of work?
As I said before, this show is going to be very personal. Overcoming my ego was definitely necessary to get to a point where I’m consciously willing to reveal things about myself. Especially after being part of a subculture where everyone is constantly penetrating their egos. Over the past months, I was able to overcome the fear and destroy the anger I had my whole life. For a very long time, anger was my drive, my mission and part of my power. I always believed it was my curse and necessary for my creative work. Giving up this anger was kind of scary in the first place. Until I realized that now, I can open up to a completely new creative energy. An energy, which to me reaches a new level of creation. Since I’ve started the Rabbit Eye Movement I’ve been talking about freeing my mind. Now, I understand what this actually means.
In general, I think that if you’re truly creating from your soul – not only to feed a subculture – you always reveal something about yourself. This is actually the only way I’m willing to produce. This is why people vibrate from your art. The fact that I seem to communicate with a very wide range of people is because they feel what I’m feeling. And that makes me really grateful and happy. It shows me that I’m on the right track. Concerning this show in particular, it really only gives you this little glimpse of a change in my work. You can still see with pieces of the Tyrannosaurus Rex or the Shark that this where it all comes from. But there are other pieces which clearly communicate a different thing. This change I’m talking about is not something I was planning. It really just opened itself up to me. And I think to be open to those kind of changes is a big part of being a self-responsive and truly free creating artist.
You’ve shown a lot in SF. What makes this show different?
After all my travels over the world I kind of got stuck in San Francisco – in many ways. Especially, because I feel a relation to my home town Vienna. Not only size-wise, also mentality-wise, in a certain way. Of all the cities I’ve been to – especially in America – San Francisco is my favorite. It felt like home immediately. But, like many others, I can feel that there’s a change happening with which I don’t really agree. It’s very sad to observe that this futuristic development slowly destroys the artistic and original vibe of the city. A vibe I can still feel, even if I’m not from there. I can also see why many artists leave this amazing place heavy hearted. Coming back and showing here is therefore very important to me. I still really love this place – and I can see that it still loves me.
What’s next for you?
Well, after a Pop-Up store with Rabbit Eye Movement and the release of my Jurassic Park vinyl toy at the Designer Convention in Anaheim and the Rabbit Eye Movement booth at the Juxtapoz House at Art Basel in Miami, I’m going to head to Bali with a couple of friends to take some time off. I want to reflect and draw and work on everything what’s coming after this show. I definitely want to paint more walls again. After Bali, South America is also a place I want to spend some time before I come back to California.
Our sincere thanks to Nychos. The opening reception for Endless Layers till Consciousness will be on Friday, November 9th, 7-10pm and continue on display throughout November.
540 Howard Street, San Francisco
Tue – Fri, 11am – 6pm / Sat, 12pm – 5pm