Nikolas Soren Goodich
Layered Plexiglass Paintings and Prints

Artist Statement

Nikolas Goodich Fine Artist Photo by Eric Minh Swenson

For over thirty five years I have been singularly obsessed with making art. I make drawings, paintings and prints using various traditional modes, and I also use a variety of unique techniques of my own creation involving plexiglass, plastics, and other transparent media. I have used mixed media: paper, canvas, chalk, varnishes, watercolor, pencil, plastics, spray paint, sharpie markers, acrylics, oils, crayon, encaustic, wood, florescent and LED lights, and much more.

As a child I was into the underground comics of the 1960s and 1970s, superhero comics and European science fiction graphic novels. Later I was exposed to Classic Illustration from Hogarth in the nineteenth-century to later masters such as Arthur Rackham, Aubrey Beardsley, and Edward Gorey. In my teens I was exposed to the art of the Renaissance, Modernism, Dada, Art Brut, Surrealism, Conceptual Art, Minimalism, Fluxus, and works from many other “schools” at museums and galleries in LA, Mexico, London and NYC. Thus, by the time I got to art school (RISD) in the late 80’s I was steeped in both Art History and in the many worlds of critical theory. I read Baudrillard, Lyotard, Eco, Kristeva, Derrida, Foucault, Barthes, Debord, and Deluze - just to name a few - in my high school years, due to the crucial influence of a few amazing teachers.

Perhaps one can see a synthesis of these influences in my works? Narratives and anti-narratives? The referential and pure abstraction? A conceptual interplay of these elements— in terms of content, form and media? Flatness and depth? Postmodernist hyperreality? An outsider art sensibility and an Art Brut viscerality? The visual as simulacra or hyper-text; a psycho-social subjectivity; a set of divergent ideations, a sociopolitically objective structuring of signs and/or a metaphysical/ontological, nonreligious/secular paine to the ephemeral, transcendental, psychedelic other? Do you see a subtle, often purely intuitive/nonverbal, manifestation of a freely decanted whirl of post post-modern avant-garde aesthetics; the critical, spiritual and cultural melange of influences, that I see? Do you see the ethereal, ambiguous and uncertain, but nonetheless concrete, potential for visual metaphors and analogies from the worlds of quantum physics, phenomenology, poststructuralism, linguistics, radical politics, etc?

Perhaps... or perhaps you see entirely other feelings, concepts, and ideas. But the most important thing, that everyone who has over the last thirty years, so kindly cared to be engaged and to share their comments with me on my art—and so many many times to buy it and have it in their home as part of their life—has been that they see an authenticity, a potent, visceral, emotional, sensory, complex level of irreducible content; wether or not that content is easily put into words, or even needs to be.

In the early 90’s I discovered my enduring obsession with layering transparent materials on paper and canvas. From translucent layered works by Robert Rauschenberg and Sigmar Polke I saw the potential for exploding the surface of a painting outwards/inwards by layering, luminosity and a use of transparent layers of media. I discovered that it could result in many, perhaps countless, permutations, with the ultimate one being the “mixed media luminous plexiglass assemblage light wall painting installation” that my large scale 2003 work East LA Polyglot and, equally large scale, work of 2005, Transluscent Polyphonic, are perhaps the best examples of. The former was a commission for the exterior of an artists loft building in the Angelino Heights neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles where it hung for five years, while the latter was a commission for Amoeba Music Hollywood’s grand opening, where it hung in the window on the Cahuenga Blvd. side of the building next to a work by Malcolm Morley for a year.

I dream of someday being able to make more ambitious, bigger scale, “mixed media luminous plexiglass assemblage light wall architectural art installation public art projects”! This is one of my life as an artists most cherished and central goals... Being an artist, teaching art, making my own work, writing about it and about art in general, and building a career as an artist has been both the most beautiful, the central part of my entire life and it has also been, in many ways, a curse: it is in no way easy. But it is who I am and what I do, what I was born to do and be. Each work, you will see here on my website, represents incalculable hours, days, months, years of both frustrated and directly effortless inspired emotion, thought and action. I have quite literally wept, sweated, and bled to realize these artworks. That being said, it is equally true that some have been born in an instant, and in an instant that was nothing but joy and laughter and full of perfectly pure epiphanies.

This is—as I see it—the real time paradox/dialectic, the dual nature at the core of all art, and of being an artist. Daily I fret lovingly over the minutiae of the creation of and the real, imaginary, and potential life of my art—past, present and future. I hope you enjoy seeing my art here and please return as I update it regularly. Please return here as I will be updating the site regularly with new works and also with images of older works that will be added to my extensive archive.

Nikolas Soren Goodich