Nico Salazar is an illustrator, muralist, and designer from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Nico has been drawing since he was a small child and grew up between Santa Fe, California, & Hawaii due to his father’s service in the US Navy. These three locations heavily shaped Nico’s style showcasing a unique mixture of New Mexican culture, manga, comic books, street art, Y2K and 90s nostalgia.
The scenery of Palm trees, Pam Grier movies, green chile, low-riders, adobe buildings, early 2000s internet vibes, beach bums, dollar store barbies, coconut oil, chola cousins, Love and Rockets comics, Sega Dreamcast and early morning anime rituals before school in Hawaii played a huge role in forming Nico's influences.
At 15, Nico attended his first rave which sparked his interest in fashion and music. Shortly after high school, Nico moved into a house in Albuquerque, NM with fellow ravers forming an utopian community of music, art, and party culture. During these nights Nico would draw his friends turning them into characters often with strange backstories, powers, and abilities.
Three years later Nico decided to move back to Santa Fe to pursue a college degree in studio arts. During this time Nico and fellow Santa Fe artists formed a queer art gang known as The Soft Museum where they would collaborate on jewelry made from plastic melty beads. After many wild adventures The Soft Museum went their separate ways and Nico began to focus in on his first love, drawing
He received his BFA in Illustration from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 2014 and started his brand Future Fantasy Delight as his senior thesis project. The project aimed to create a faux brand showcasing Nico's interests in product design. On opening night there was a huge demand to purchase the designs which shortly after turned Nico's products from faux to tangible. FFD proved to be a potent mixture of Nico's skills in illustration, photography, character design, and story-telling.
Following graduation, Nico joined went on to produce his wildly popular mural-room Hidden Capsule inside artist collective Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The mural room was drawing completely in black paint marker depicting an endless array of original and pop culture characters spanning from floor to ceiling. Nico's second Meow Wolf exhibit The Slurp Zone exists at Omegamart inside Area 15 Las Vegas.
Nico has since exhibited his art in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Las Vegas, New York City, Chicago, and Miami & is currently working on upcoming shows and collections.
Nico enjoys gazing at the Tokyo Skyline, collecting luxury paint markers, being around palm trees
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