Nicholas Cueva, born 1983 in Dana Point, California, is an artist currently living in Brooklyn. His casual but specific approach to painting is conceptually bound into the physicality of space in image. After receiving his MFA in Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he moved to New York in 2011, where his constant approach to the current languages of construction and loss have gone on to influence and dialogue with the Bushwick scene.
Born with a rare and lethal heart condition, and undergoing frequent life saving heart surgeries, all starting at 6 months, he has dealt with mortality his whole life. His early philosophical approach was initially sated within a religious and academic context, but after some concessions and re-evaluating, he has fallen onto using art to wordlessly unpack his and others frail and damaged psychologies.
Cueva's artistic approach recently brought him back into playing with spiritual practices. His insight on the body, movement, and ritual have guided his work to produce languages of mark making informed through a knowledge of current models of image processing. His interest in biology has grown into an intuition and study of the relationship of the eye and the brain.
He has turned this device of construction and deconstruction onto his own memories. This surfer series comes from moments in his childhood where a beautiful and caring Christian surfing community helped his young parents come to terms with his mortality.
These beautiful moments hide a variety of contradictory hidden facial image constructions, providing the viewer with an uncanny feeling, from their brain trying to reconcile mood. This attempt at the numinous is a nod to his childhood.