Nikki de León is a cologne based artist with an architectural background. In her works she expresses influences from both worlds and combines art, craft and construction. In terms of content, her works deal with human biography, which is characterized by light and shadow - translated into her own geometric language: a memory architecture of emotion, abstraction, surface, form and color.
Her works are inspired by the geometric formal vocabulary of Constructivism, the flatness of Hard Edge, and the rectilinear architecture of Midcentury Modern. Process and approach are also influenced by architecture, especially in the choice of materials: initial sketches are made on tracing paper in multiple layers. In this early phase she works with ink, calligraphy pen and chalk, later with acrylic on canvas, freehand only.

My works are places from the "before", buildings on the foundation of memory, abstracted phantom images of the past. Time, setting, identity, emotion and questions that arise in the context of memory meet and re-form - into a composition of geometric vocabulary. I call it memory architecture.

A self-developed, emotion-based symbolic language is the foundation of my work. It is a language against speechlessness, because it finds forms and bodies when learned writing reaches its limits. With it, I can give a voice to that for which I lack words. Layer by layer, the basic message takes shape as I lay a pictorial language on top of the symbolic language, which is complemented by surfaces and color.

The world for me is geometry. My perception is a composition of vanishing lines, corners, edges, arcs, spaces, distances and interfaces. In geometric form language it is reflected on my works, without being a perspective image.

An essential element of my motifs is the red dot. It exists as an intersection of vanishing lines that are no longer visible, hidden on a deeper level of the picture - and long since painted over. What remains is the red dot as a reminder that here, as everywhere, there is a connection.

Light and shadow
Every person has light and shadow, grown from biography and memory. In my work I deal intensively with the contrast of dark and light sides of human biography. Always with the awareness of shadow, light also finds a place in my more current works. For this I use primary and secondary tones that fill memories with color. They are surrounded by black surfaces, because certain things remain hidden. They remain shadows.

2018 M.A., Exhibition Design + Functional Art, Campus Art & Design Trier (D) 
2017 B.A., Construction in existing context, Campus Art & Design Trier (D) 
2013 Interior Design Studies, Campus Art & Design Trier (D)
2009 Architecture Studies, Campus Art & Design Trier (D)

2023 Dec., sojourn Los Angeles, tba
2022 Blackmarket
Cash Only, Solo, Studio, Cologne (D)
2021 Selected Works, Solo, x N°59, Cologne (D)
2020 Faux Naïf, as Part of the collections, Martin Glanz, Cologne (D) 
2019 New Post:Offline, Solo Exhibiton, Rosebud, Cologne (D)
2023 October 06 - 08, 'Happy Places', Feld Studio, Cologne (D)

2023 Tracingpaper+Poems, Group show, w/ Nice Dry, Kultur & Gut, Hamburg(D) 
2021 Platz des Zusammensitzens, Group show, w/ Cameo Kol, Hannover (D)
2020 Streetchairs, w/ El Warcha Collective Tunis, MAKK Cologne/Tunis (D/TUN) 

2019 X99-hibition, w/ Dimensioniii Kollektiv, Marmeladenfabrik, 2019 Cologne (D)

2022 Lectureship Computer generated abstracts, Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen (D)
2020 Workshop on building art, Helios Inclusive University School of Cologne (D)

2018 GDA Newcomer Nominee 2019, issued by Rat für Formgebung Frankfurt (D) 
2017 Honored by BDIA for outstanding exposition, Campus Art & Design Trier (D)