Nicolas Ramon Solis Graffiti Art Featured Springville Art Museum

Photo and article by Sarah Rose Webber

Nicolas Ramon Solis Graffiti Art Featured Springville Art Museum
By Sarah Rose Webber
Nicolas Solis recently had his graffiti drawing “Ominous” featured in the Springville’s Annual Art Show. This is a very prestigious achievement, of the 936 entries received from 93 high schools across the state; only 313 were selected for the exhibit. Nicolas was the only Payson High School student to get into the art show this year. He paints because “I like to use my talents and express myself”. He drew “Ominous” because he “thought it was really cool. It’s a gnarly drawing of me with a sad face”. 
Nicolas has a lot of experience, he has been drawing since elementary school, drawing graffiti since eighth grade, participated in the salt Lake Art Festival, and took a graffiti class in SLC. Nicolas hopes he is “doing anything that has to do with art” when he grows up. Nicolas’ dream job is to get paid for graffiti. He says the difference between a graffiti artist and a street tagger is that “graffiti artists don’t just tag people’s sheds- they put masterpieces on walls. If it’s not other people’s property and it looks good, that’s what makes it art”. To Nicolas Graffiti art is so cool because “it’s putting thoughts on a wall with only a spray paint can”. Nicolas built a wall in his backyard to practice his mad skills on. He also will paint people’s rooms only for the cost of paint (for now-in a few years he may be charging you a couple grand for his mad skills).
Nicolas artwork is unique compared to most artwork you would see in a museum; with graffiti as his main style. Nicholas says that “a Graffiti artist is just like any other artist; like a painter uses a paintbrush, I use a spray can”.   Graffiti emerged as form of expression by political activists and has exploded since then, from TAKI 183 in New York City to Keith Haring and the worldwide movement today. Nicolas said his inspiration is “TOTEM2 because of his crazy insane style and designs you never could even imagine”. Graffiti is emerging from street vandalism to a sought after art form in Art galleries, on clothing, and in video games. Not only is Nicolas’ entrée in the Springville a great achievement for him and Payson High School, but it is also milestone for the movement for the acceptance of Graffiti as a respectable art form. “Graffiti is without question the most powerful art movement in recent history and has been a driving inspiration throughout my career” said Marc Ecko. Nicolas said that if he could tell people anything about graffiti art it’d be “graffiti is an art- don’t look down on it or diss it, because it’s a way people express their emotions on a wall; just like any other art form”.