Contemporary realism figurative art
Nika Nyoko, "Introvert," 2021, oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm

Meet this week’s top Realism Today Ambassador, Nika Nyoko:

Nika Nyoko is a Bulgarian freelance illustrator with a Master’s degree in Art Pedagogy, specializing in watercolor and oil painting. With 15 years of experience in illustrating children’s books, Nika’s passion now lies in exploring human connections and self-awareness through her artwork.

Her paintings are a reflection of her own introspection, utilizing multi-layered compositions that blend old master techniques with modern digital sensitivities. Nika’s sensitive nature and high degree of empathy are evident in the philosophical intent behind each piece, aiming to communicate a fascination with human interactions and motivations.

Through her art, Nika aims to promote self-awareness and personal growth by encouraging viewers to analyze their own ideas, feelings, and behaviors. She believes that self-reflection is a powerful tool for understanding oneself and others, leading to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

Nika’s reflections on the figurative art oil painting “Introversion” (shown at top): “As an introvert myself, I understand the need to withdraw into oneself and find inner balance. It doesn’t mean that I’m incapable of empathy or closeness; it means that I need to reconnect with my essence before moving forward.

“The social noise, overly close personal interactions, the inability to sort out my own thoughts and assess who, why, how … the picture is dedicated to the moment when someone decides to set boundaries in order to return to themselves. It’s about finding that space where I can recharge and realign with my true self, so I can engage meaningfully with the world around me. It’s not about shutting others out; it’s about honoring my own need for introspection and self-discovery.”

Nika Nyoko, "Hate," 2021, oil on canvas, 140 x 80 cm
Nika Nyoko, “Hate,” 2021, oil on canvas, 140 x 80 cm

“The painting ‘Hate’ is part of a diptych – ‘Love’ § ‘Hate.’ Such a strong emotion – it corrodes us from within and fills us with black thoughts, makes us blind to the truth, blocks our every step, and makes us slaves. Hatred is not a constructive emotion. Rather, it blocks and destroys us. But will we give in to it? It depends only on ourselves.”

Contemporary realism figurative art
Nika Nyoko, “Life,” 2021, oil on canvas, 90 x 80 cm

“The painting ‘Life’ depicts the artist’s idea of life as a continuous journey with a final destination. Depending on one’s mindset, it can be experienced as free falling, a graceful dance, or a competitive race. It all depends on an individual’s mental attitude and perspective. The painting serves as a message to reconsider our daily states of mind and to navigate our life’s path in a way that we will not regret.”

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