“Find out who you are. Don’t be afraid of conquering new areas or new ways. Do your thing. Trust your passion.”
From Cartoon Dreams to Graffiti Roots
Nychos maintains bases in both Vienna, Austria, and Los Angeles, California. He is predominantly recognized for his striking large-scale murals, which often showcase intricate depictions of anatomy. Hailing from Styria in southeastern Austria, Nychos was raised in a traditional Austrian family in a small town where television served as the primary source of pop culture exposure.
This early exposure to television, particularly cartoons, had a profound impact on Nychos. Meanwhile, his Austrian upbringing provided him with unique inspiration. His father and grandfather, both hunters, introduced him to the world of anatomy at a young age. As a child, Nychos spent countless hours observing the skulls and remains of animals brought home by his family members. These experiences left an indelible mark on his psyche, inspiring him to later draw bones and delve into the study of anatomy.
Throughout his life, Nychos has been fascinated by the examination of layers. From deconstructing toys to exploring the depths of anatomy, he remains captivated by the notion of uncovering what lies beneath the surface. Nychos continually seeks innovative ways to probe this question within his artwork, exploring layers that reach the depths of consciousness and beyond.
In addition to his artistic pursuits, Nychos is the founder of Rabbit Eye Movement, a multifaceted company comprising a team of five individuals in Vienna and two in California. Rabbit Eye Movement produces and distributes art prints, clothing, accessories, and publications through two online shops, one serving Europe and the other catering to the United States.
Left: Nychos, Depression, acrylics on canvas, 60 x 48 inch, 2020
Right: Nychos, Binary, acrylics on canvas, 72 x 60 inch, 2020
Nychos: The Layers through Mural and Canvas
During his childhood, Nychos dreamt of becoming a character designer, but fate had a different trajectory in store for his artistic career. As he entered his teenage years, around the age of 15, the burgeoning artist sought a mode of expression that resonated with his inner feelings and perceptions. At the time, he engaged in extensive drawing, primarily focusing on comic-related subjects. This endeavor proved instrumental in his development, but his impatient nature often clashed with the slower pace of working with acrylics.
The discovery of the spray can proved to be a turning point for Nychos. He found himself captivated by the medium’s ability to keep up with the rapid pace of his creative thought process. The versatility of the spray can provided him with a myriad of possibilities, once he had mastered its technique. From the very beginning, Nychos became enthralled with the potential for exploration offered by this medium.
Around the ages of 16 or 17, the artist’s restless nature and nocturnal tendencies led him to the world of graffiti, which perfectly complemented his search for action and movement. He revered every form of graffiti, and it provided him with a sense of direction. For several years, Nychos dedicated himself to this art form, focusing on the streets as his canvas. However, unlike some of his contemporaries in the German-speaking world, his motivation was not rooted in the thrill of adrenaline or causing destruction. Instead, Nychos’ ultimate goal was to create impactful and visually striking pieces.
As his work evolved, the size and complexity of his pieces expanded, leading him to embrace the realm of street art. Currently, Nychos strives to push the boundaries of his artistic vision, allowing his creations to guide him on this journey. Regardless of where his art takes him, he acknowledges that graffiti will forever remain a part of his artistic identity, as it represents his roots.
Nychos, Screaming For Vengeance, Montreal, 2015
Embracing Identity and Freedom in Art
Many artists grapple with the question of what kind of artist they want to be. The crux of this query lies in self-realization, as the person one internally aspires to become is the individual they already are. In essence, the desired artist identity already exists, even if it is not yet visible. It is vital to explore one’s identity, fearlessly venture into new territories, and embrace novel approaches. Above all, trusting one’s passion is key.
The body of work Nychos has produced recently has proven to be exceptionally meaningful within a broader context. It unfolds as a narrative, allowing the artist to witness how his life and the situations he encounters materialize through his art. Nychos primarily creates murals and large-scale paintings, but in recent years, he has also ventured into the realm of 3D objects and digital artworks, such as NFTs. The artist is eager to discover where his visions and creations will lead him in the future.
Nychos’ ideal working environment involves unfettered freedom, inspiring music, and a creative process that adapts to the subject, location, project, and technique. He allows himself the liberty to improvise across various mediums, emphasizing liberation in his work. When it comes to murals, the artist prefers to sketch directly on the wall, using a rudimentary sketch from his sketchbook as a loose reference. Nychos begins by painting the basic form, usually the spine, with a fat cap, which establishes the composition and dynamism of the piece. Subsequently, he fills the painting with organs and floating parts, including muscles and skin. In translucent paintings, the final step is the translucent layer. Nychos believes that the most effective sketch occurs directly on the wall, as adhering too closely to a paper sketch imposes limitations. Perfection is attained when the artist allows the creative process to unfold organically. This approach typically characterizes Nychos’ process for creating murals.
Nychos, Translucency of My Little Pony, acrylics on canvas, 48 x 36inch, 2020
Nychos: Significance and Evolution in Art and Life
When working on canvas, Nychos employs a notably different approach. This process requires more planning and typically begins with an architectural sketch on his iPad. During this stage, he contemplates the subject matter, composition, and execution of the painting. The primary forms he focuses on are the anatomy and translucency of the subject. Subsequently, Nychos projects the sketch onto the canvas to establish the fundamental shapes. He then paints from the inside out, gradually filling in the shapes with the entire organism. This method strikes a balance between architectural planning and creative freedom when working on canvas.
Throughout his career, certain artworks have held particular significance at specific moments in time. In 2015, “Screaming for Vengeance,” a mural Nychos created in Montreal, became a deeply meaningful work for him. During this period, he felt like a warrior, battling his adversaries under the banner of art, and much of his work was fueled by anger.
In 2020, amidst the pandemic, another significant endeavor was the creation of “1111,” a body of work that was also published as a book by Rabbit Eye Movement. This series of artworks represents a collection of highly personal experiences that Nychos sought to explore through his art. Ultimately, the entire process proved to be therapeutic, enabling him to let go of unproductive aspects of his life and emotions, such as anger. This transformation allowed Nychos to evolve as an artist and learn to draw inspiration from other sources. However, this period of growth was precipitated by an extended bout of illness, demonstrating how the universe can introduce catalysts for essential development.
The artist acknowledges that there will always be certain works that hold special significance for a given moment. On average, he identifies approximately five such works annually. These pieces serve as a chronicle of Nychos’ journey through time and space, providing a glimpse into his personal and artistic evolution. Reflecting on his body of work, Nychos recognizes the meaning imbued in each piece since he began his career as a painter.
Nychos, Dissection of Grogu, acrylics on canvas, 60 x48 inch, 2021