Local Rewards artist profile: Nico

Our first artist to be showcased as part of the Local rewards program. Nico tells us why he got involved and designed our first card for the inner East.

His bold and highly graphic street art compositions can be found all over Sydney and around the world. While most will recognise his large scale –and utterly transfixing –public murals, Nico’s work also spans acrylic paintings, print-making and digital art.

“I take influence from movements such as post-painterly abstraction and the hard edge movement. I’m mainly interested in creating engaging and balanced compositions using colour, shape, line and space,” Nico told Urban Village.

Nico is the first artist to be showcased as part of the Surry Hills Creative Precinct’s Local Rewards scheme, which is designed to bolster local retailers, hospitality venues and businesses through their localised gift card program.

Each run of the gift card will feature the designs of a different local artist. “I worked with the Surry Hills Creative Precinct last year to create the Flower house artwork on Devonshire Street. After seeing the devastation wrought by Covid on small businesses,I was already wondering about possible ways to help support them,” said Nico. Nico’s Local Rewards design is playful and craft-driven, to reflect what he loves about small local retailers. “I feel like local businesses are able to interact with their communities in such a meaningful and genuine way.” “I hate going to big soulless supermarkets and being served by robots. For me the act of shopping is just as much about engaging with the merchant and building up community bonds.” “As an artist I love that I am able to interact with those who purchase my works and support my practice – it truly is such a joy and adds another layer of meaning to my work.”

In the works is another mural on Crown Street by Nico and a string of commissions set to brighten up our city, as well as his own exhibition next year. “I think a lot of people have been eager to support artists during this strange time and I am incredibly thankful for everyone who has supported my work.” “I’m excited to see how the city will be rejuvenated when it re-emerges post-Covid.I’m hopeful that people will return to public life with a new appreciation of their local communities.”

You can find Nico at @nico_nicoson on Instagram and artofnico.com.