by Nicki Marx
Élan means the life force
or energy of life. This series honors & celebrate the beauty of the élan vital. It is a departure from the work I am known for because it is more minimal, using far fewer feathers.
From the philosopher Henri Bergson: "the original vital impulse which is the substance of consciousness and nature."
Élan Series | #5 / 2017
Lady Amherst Pheasant & Macaw (parrot)
"Heartbreakingly beautiful. They...represent a new way of seeing. An imagined world in which the concrete elements of existence are brought together in new forms."
- David L Witt, former curator of the Harwood Museum
:Nicki Marx is a naturalist. Her work celebrates life in all its aspects - from beginning to end - and the natural world. Her medium: feathers.
Nicki's work is difficult to categorize, which possibly has been the biggest challenge to her success, but in spite of this success has come in abundance. Nicki has been a celebrated artist for nearly five decades. She moved to New Mexico in her mid-twenties and that is where she discovered that the fiery energy she had burning inside her was that of an artist.
"I had a literal vision. The sky cracked open and I saw feathers everywhere:
people wearing them, whole walls of feathers."
It began with a $5 bag of feathers, purchased at Tiano's Sporting Goods in Santa Fe. She combined the feathers with driftwood and silver and had sold them all by the end of the week. Marx continued to expand and develop her skills and techniques into a unique style of art.
"As a self taught artist, I had no one to tell me 'no'. No one to tell me 'that's not how you do that'. Without the rules I was free to explore my art any way I pleased."
Within a year Marx was exhibiting in galleries across the country. She had a two-page color article in the LOS ANGELES TIMES HOME MAGAZINE. Over the next 20 years, her carrier continued to move at break-neck speeds. She was a major part of the California Craft Movement and by the early 90s she had amassed an impressive listing of solo shows, group exhibitions, and publications. Her work is in many private and public collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 1996, she was picked up by the Sun Cities Museum Of Art for a lifetime retrospective.
Unfortunately, her career took a drastic turn when she was involved in a car accident the same year, leaving her unable to produce for over 10 years. Her "rediscovery" occurred in 2014 with a retrospective show "MARX RISING" where her feathers once more took flight at the Reform Gallery in Los Angeles. Here in New Mexico, Nicki has a stunning one-person show at the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe. As Nicki enters the fifth decade of her fabulous art career, she is preparing for an upcoming traveling museum exhibit set to open in 2020.