Artist Nikulas Lebajo's works on display at Solaire Resort North

“Nikulas’ approach to contemporary art is deeply personal in using forms that are a reflection of identity.”

Longevity is perhaps the hardest achievement for any artist. Anyone can be touted as an overnight success, especially in the art scene. It is a venue always hungry for young blood. Nikulas Lebajo, the celebrated and internationally-exhibited artist, proves that the artist’s discipline is what defines them from the rest. Disciple and dedication can rise up to cultural landmark status. This is the challenge only a few artists, like Nikulas, can meet.

Nikulas Lebajo posing beside his masterpiece at the VIP arrival lobby of Solaire Resort North-min.jpg
Nikulas Lebajo

Nikulas shows no signs of slowing down. Of his many accomplishments, including being the youngest artist who would be regularly showcased at The Luz Gallery of the late National Artist for Visual Arts, Arturo Luz, another one has come to fruition. Solaire Resort and Casino approached Nikulas for commissioned works including one huge centerpiece and four medium-sized works to be displayed at the newly-opened Solaire Resort North. In particular, the huge masterpiece on display adds luster to the VIP arrival lobby of the hotel. The other paintings are displayed at the presidential suite.

“I feel honored and grateful for their trust,” says Nikulas, who displays humility despite participating in group exhibits in Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Daejeon, and Singapore. The artist stresses how in a competitive field, it is difficult to be acknowledged, “I observe different galleries and I know if they are prestigious because you can't easily do an exhibit. I'm grateful that I have had exhibitions at some notable galleries.”

Solaire collection 28 x 28 inches by Nikulas Lebajo (2)-min.jpg

Bambina Aseron of Tarzeer Pictures tapped Nikulas for the Solaire project. She shares how Nikulas’ unique vision fits the art landscape of the prestigious tourist spot. “Nikulas’ approach to contemporary art is deeply personal in using forms that are a reflection of identity. His work has intention through the use of repetition as well as his process, which enhances a meditative state and presence.”

Solaire collection 28 x 28 inches by Nikulas Lebajo (1)-min.jpg

She also points out the technical command Nikulas has over his art. “Nikulas’ work is serial in nature and the creation of this narrative or aesthetic system that has developed over many canvases. Contemporary artists are just as likely to disguise sculptural matter as everyday objects or fool us into thinking that they don’t care about the sculpture of the past. These objects force the audience to use 2D human perception to appreciate three-dimensional representations.”

Nikulas’ latest work is but a herald for the next 35 and more years ahead. He says, “I'm an advocate of a healthy lifestyle and an environmentalist. I continue to make myself available for knowledge transfer like judging in some art contests. I was able to create a mark in the art scene with my signature style.” 

Solaire collection 28 x 28 inches by Nikulas Lebajo (4)-min.jpg

His advice for young artists may come off as simple, but speaks volumes. It is all about staying focused on your craft and doing away with the trappings that may come with recognition. “For emerging artists, I hope their creativity will be based on natural sources, no drugs, clean living, and a healthy lifestyle.”

Nikulas took up Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines. At 17 years old, he bagged the grand prize of the 22nd Shell National Student Art Competition. The winning piece, Botelya, predicates Nikulas’ expertise over trompe l’oeil.

Solaire collection 28 x 28 inches by Nikulas Lebajo (3)-min.jpg

He reflects on his 36-year-long career. “I continue to capture a niche market for my artworks and hone my skills and techniques to keep abreast with the trends and innovations in art.”

Looking forward, Nikulas uses his talent to create a career worthy of example and tradition for the next generation.