Nicholas Robles is a conceptual artist recontextualizing the history and form of materials in his works. He studied sculpture and engineering at Stanford University, graduating with an M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.A. in Art Practice with Honors. In his thesis, Rainbow Through a Mist of Rust, Nicholas studied the aging of material as a parallel to the rust belt communities from Michigan to his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. The discarded elements of rusted steel, coal, and broken bricks show the aftermath of the economic decline of the automotive industry, however, they hold a beauty within them like the resilient people who remain.
Following the pandemic, Nicholas started engaging with contemporary events. His current work relating to mass school shootings. School is in Succession I is a bulletproof child’s school desk to be used in the event of an active shooter, with tragic marker graffiti detailing the loss of childhood innocence. He is working on School is in Succession II, an exhibition within the game Animal Crossing. This virtual gallery explores ideas of hyperreality and virtual constructions of identity, with art about shootings as painful reminders of events that can’t be escaped.