Local Artist Overcomes Disability By Creating One of a Kind Art

Local Artist Overcomes Disability By Creating One of a Kind Art

Martín Di Felice

Rancho Mirage, CA

Nicholas Kontaxis is hard at work at his Rancho Mirage studio creating one of his masterpieces. His art is coveted for it’s bright, colorful textures that provoke endless wonder. His only tool a pallet knife.

He’s quickly making a name for himself. At just 22-years -old, he’s already commissioned paintings had two shows, one in Los Angeles to a sold out crowd and some of his pieces sell for thousands of dollars.

And while he makes it look effortless, many of his pieces take months to produce. You see nothing has come easy for this artist.

"He’s had over 40 thousand seizures … he’s had brain surgery … but he’s on the spectrum for autism also," says his mother Krisann Kontaxis.

She says, at 14-years-old he took up painting in school, a gift she feels is from above. Still she says some days are so rough he can put a few strokes of color on the canvas.

She says anyone else would have quit long ago, but his can do spirit keep him creating, "He can have something terrible overcome him everyday and then shake it off and go on and not dwell, he doesn’t dwell on negativity and the negative that are happening to him, I think that’s a great gift in life."

She says his creations come from a place that some might find limiting, "His disability really allows him to experiment all the time."

His vocabulary is limited, but he puts a name to every painting by coming up with a word or phrase he feels while painting it, or when he’s finished. His mom and aides help him create a list of every word to have at the ready for when the piece is complete. 

She credits the teachers and aids that spent countless hours helping him, "He couldn’t have done it without you, you’re part of every painting and every stroke."

That’s why their proudest moment will be when those teachers and the community that has supported him will get to see his first local show at the Heather James Fine Art Gallery  in Palm Desert. 

"Yes cool man," says Nicholas. 

The show is called "That Way", thought up by his brothers, as it’s his go to phrase when they’re going places. His mom says Nicholas loves to be in control when they drive. One of the paintings fits the title perfectly. It’s big, bold with dominating shades of blue. It’s called ‘Car Ride. 

You can see ‘Car Ride’ and more of his extraordinary art and meet him on Saturday starting at 5:00 p.m. at the Heather James Fine art Gallery in Palm Desert.