Our sociopolitical systems keeps the uneducated uneducated. The wealthiest of our nation steal from the general public, tear apart our environment, punish unjustly (and inhumanly), and sit back as if to say, "It's your fault". These systems trickle down and attack those that have the very least the hardest.
As I navigate my days, these social injustices inspire me to attempt to cause change. My methods start from the ideals of democracy, something I worry cannot exist, yet I still find myself mesmerized by and striving to find.
Some elements I have set for myself to attempt working toward artistic democracy are:
- Making work in Public
- Making the viewer the artist
- Removing myself as artist
- Making the art free
With the above ideas in mind my work focuses on postmodern relational pieces that attempt to problem-solve some of these intricate and unnamable injustices. I am using my art to search for social well-being.
The weekend before last, we took the turbo hydrofoil to Hong Kong. What a great city - a true mix of east and west. We had only a couple hours, so we dropped in Soho - an area Jen knew where there is the world's longest escalator. Which of course we rode to the top! The city has a taste of San Francisco (only steeper if you can imagine). We found ourselves walking out of bounds in to a rural area an undertaking of a hike. Following signs to what was called The Peak. Up and up and up and up - past the zoo and the botanical gardens we climbed. Huffing and Puffing, we were surely getting our exercise. Later we discussed our images of what we expected when we made the summit. I thought a pile of rocks and a small log book to record your triumph of the physical journey - Pablo thought a sacred temple perhaps...and Jen thought we might find the moon. We get to the final steps of our walk when a mall appears "the Galleria". Apparently, you take a cab to the top to enjoy the spectacular view of the city. Can you say tourist? We were all surprised to see a Hagen Daaz and Starbucks... while we laughed at ourselves and indulged in frozen treats.
This was all after we found an authentic viet-chinese restaurant outside of Soho. If you have to order by pointing at the picture, we figure we are in the right place. We ordered a most scrumptious meal of noodly veg soup, chicken with a spicy brown sauce and garlic greens that we enjoyed thoroughly until the very end when the cockroach fell from the sky into my hair! then onto the table. It scurried along. Mortified, I jumped up, stripped the shoe off of my foot and slammed it down on the table. Unfortunately, losing my balance slightly catching the table with just the right angle to send it flipping over onto Pablo...soup and noodle in his lap and a half dead cockroach sliding his way. Dishes smashing on the floor and the locals surrounding our outrageous scene. Actually, that's what went on inside my head -- I (slightly disgusted), slid the bug onto a menu and walked him outside where I delivered him back into the streets of Hong Kong.
Nikki Pike is a local artist based out of Denver, Colorado. She has been working as a professional artist and educator for the past nine years primarily in Colorado and Florida. Nikki has had the opportunity to perform under the direction of William Pope L. as Miss Black Factory in a three-month national tour of the Black Factory. Her work has also been featured at Art Basel Miami, The Contemporary Art Museum of Tampa, and The Tampa Art Museum. Serving as the Color Orchestrator, Nikki also spent ten months living and working in Macau for Sky Art where she was fundamental in helping to create a 250,000 square foot ceiling mural.
While in Denver, Nikki has exhibited in local galleries The Ice Cube Gallery, 910 Arts, The Emanuel Gallery and has most recently began an exciting new body of intervention works. She has also become a part of two major local outdoor collections at The Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design as well as The Joshua Station. She has also involved herself in major events such as The ADCD Paper Fashion Show, Parking Day,
Nikki grew up in Black Forest Colorado where she learned to ride bikes and climb trees in between flashlight tag, midnight soccer, and competitive sledding. The daughter of a Nurse and an Engineer, and sister to four brothers and a sister, Nikki learned to work in groups and negotiate at an early age. Fighting over the measuring cups in the bathtub and wooden spoons in the garden, The Pike family children grew wild imaginations.
The earliest sign that Nikki may later become a sculptor was in her sixteenth year in being grounded for a month. Rather than moping around and feeling sorry for her new life in confinement, Nikki raided her father's toolbox and undertook the accidental but artistic resurfacing of her very first vehicle, an AMC gremlin. Otherwise, realizing her interest and making a commitment to art came much later after her surrender to finally join the quest to attend college and explore communications design. Her exposure to materials and objects fed her need to make and build and fulfilled the physical gap that once was spent playing soccer.
Nikki earned her Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Colorado at Denver and after a year in the "Real World" decided to continue to develop her arts practice at The University of South Florida in Tampa.
Upon graduation, Nikki was hired at The Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design where she continues to work as an Assistant Professor in Foundations. She has taught: 2-D Design, 3-D Design, Digital Image Making, Installation, Performance, Sculpture 2, and Senior Studio. Nikki also expands her teaching into the community where she has worked to educate children at a local homeless shelter, in traveling with a group of college student to educate over 150 children in Juarez, Mexico in a project titled "Beautifying the Barrio". She also worked on a collaborative project, The bARTer collective, together with five students and helped to secure grants to fund a Midwestern performance tour where the group was featured in theversionfest in Chicago. Nikki taught at Anderson Ranch in the Summer of 2010.