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An Eye for Art: Collage artist Nikolas Vincent ‘transcending the quarantine,’ hopes to own gallery one day

Nikolas Vincent Massicot, whose artist name is Nikolas Vincent, had never done art until recently. He had only taken one art class in high school.

“I had no talent whatsoever,” he said.

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He has been doing art seriously for about a year. Before that, Vincent owned a business where he taught himself to use a computer aided design (CAD) program to design and manufacture parts. However, owning a company caused Vincent a lot of stress. It was too much for a single person to handle at such a young age. The pressure caused him serious health issues. He decided to abandon the company and pursue another interest. During the time Vincent was ill, he turned to drawing as a way of coping.

“It made me feel great and take my mind off everything. That is when I realized I was good at it. My first portrait was in graphite,” he said.

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Vincent tried all kinds of media. He drew for a while but he got tired of that. Then he did abstract acrylic paintings. He likes to do large pieces, 4′ x 4′ or 5′ x 5′ in dimension.

“I did 10 or 12 paintings but it did not feel right to me yet and I wasn’t passionate about it,” he said.

He decided to try mosaics created with collages of paper. Vincent thought mosaics would present a challenge that he might enjoy. His first one was a lion. However, he initially hated the process. But, after seeing the result and realizing that look could not be obtained with paint and pencil, he decided to focus on mosaics.

Vincent has about 400 magazines and rips out every page and sorts them by color. He has many bins of colored pieces of paper.

Sometimes he adds acrylic paint and fabric. He has gone through 20 pairs of scissors.

He does a variety of collage mosaic subjects. For example, he designed a Native American portrait with solely paper as well as a horse and a lion. Vincent also creates landscaped out of paper pieces.

“It is different,” Vincent said. “I do not see a lot of collages. It is a dying art. It is interesting, the way I can take random pieces of paper and glue them to a canvas to make wonderful pieces of art. It is like a reverse puzzle.”

First, Vincent free sketches an outline of the art in pencil. “If I intend to add paint, I do the painted background first. Then I go through my paper bins and choose the colors. I work on the floor on a beach towel. It will be covered with hundreds of pieces of paper.”

He is bringing back the media. He is currently working on an eagle on commission from an art collector.

“Sometimes, I will have a dream about a piece. Or sometimes I get inspiration from something small, like the piece I entered in the Carroll County Arts Council Members Show. Working at a woman’s house, I noticed a refrigerator magnet with a landscape of flowers and hummingbirds. This inspired me to create a piece of art,” Vincent said.

“I create an image of whatever I find interesting” Vincent explained. “The time it takes depends on how complicated is. One took 25 hours and another took 40 hours.”

This year Baltimore County Arts Guild featured him as one of their transcending artists for their magazine and website (www.bcartsguild.org/transcending-gallery). The BCAG put up an online exhibit titled “Transcending the Quarantine.” According to their website, “These online exhibits offer our community a new way to enjoy and purchase the work of local artists who have been unable to exhibit, perform or sell their art as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 100% of the proceeds go directly to the artists.”

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Vincent is a member of Baltimore County Arts Guild and Carroll County Arts Council and is participating in the current members show at the CCAC (carrollcountyartscouncil.org).

In last December, Vincent was invited to participate in RAW in Baltimore (rawartists.com). According to their website, "RAW spotlights independent talent in visual art, film, fashion & accessories design, music, performance art, beauty, crafts, tech, and photography. He displayed his art at their event last year.

“I want to get my name out there more. I would like more people to see my work and to one day have my own gallery,” Vincent said.

Lyndi McNulty is the owner of Gizmo’s Art in Westminster. Her column, An Eye for Art, appears regularly in Life & Times.

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