Nikola Zigon was born in Ljubljana, July the 13th, in 1958.
He spends his early childhood in an artist’s family in Belgrade. He finishes elementary and grammar school, and upon completing the secondary school, he starts his studies of Electrical Engineering in Belgrade. At the same time he draws and paints. He spends a lot of time in the theater and art studios. The need for artistic expression is overwhelming and he enrolls at the Academy of Fine Arts.
In 1991, he graduates from the painting department of the Academy of Fine Arts and obtains his MA.
That year the disintegration of Yugoslavia begins and Nikola witnesses the disappearing of his country.
In response to political events and war on the Yugoslav soil, Nikola makes his first exhibition, the Portrait Series of 1992 in the NUBS Gallery in Belgrade. It deals with a symbolic representation of a human being that reflects the tendency to discover the inner, essential being under the mask of an ephemeral, individual person.
One of the portraits is the portrait of his sister, at that time a young actress. Not even knowing why, he repaints her thick hair and paints her without it. The picture is called The Girl with Blue Hair. A few months later, his sister is diagnosed with cancer, and she loses her hair for chemotherapy. She survives and overcomes the illness, and Nikola decides never to paint portraits anymore.
In 1993, he makes a new exhibition, Interior door, at the DKSC Gallery, Belgrade.
The working title is the exhibition event, since it is a multimedia project: movement of a ballet group, painted doors, and video installation. Nikola perceives the doors as portals we pass through during our lifetime. The Door of birth, door of childhood, door of youth, in the linear understanding of life, and in the metaphysical one, the door of harmony, door of restlessness, door of misconception. Search for a key that opens its own lock.
In that same year, his daughter is born.
In 1994, he participates in the theater festival Malo Sterijino Pozorje with his multimedia project, takes part in the Short Film Festival in Belgrade with video installation Death in Venice devoted to the non-participation of his country at the Biennale in Venice due to the international blockade, and in the Arts Show October Salon with the installation of the Door of Birth.
In 1995 he has the exhibition of installations and collages Key of our endurance or Calendar of scars in the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade.
The installations are dedicated to the Holy Mysteries – stairs, mirrors and new search for a higher sense of existence.
For example, Repentance, the ballot box into which the visitor enters the paper on which he encloses the sin he considers is his most often one, then climbs the stairs very high up to the mirror, where he faces his own self.
Starting from 1995, sanctions, war, refugees in the neighborhood, all of that disturb Nikola, and make artistic creativity seem meaningless. In 1999, he survives the bombing.
In 2000, he goes to Paris and begins painting.
It resulted in two exhibitions, at the Galerie International and the Yugoslav Cultural Center in Paris. Abstract “white paintings”. “The creator of these canvases succeeded in removing all the tidbit, the shabby art-poetics and to bring the picture to the very essence, to the whiteness and white patina, through which, as a fine leitmotiv, refined line of drawings is threaded, which shows nothing but seismography of his feelings” writer Momo Kapor.
In the period from 2002 to 2017, he becomes an exclusive member of Prom-Galerie, Munich.
Important events follow in these years:
In 2001 Alexander Fullgierre, he opened the first Belgrade gallery with the concept of gathering abstract artists.
2001: The Abstraction Gallery Belgrade
2002 : The Abstraction Gallery Belgrade
2004: Rilke Project, Prom Galerie Munich
2005: The Prom Galerie Portugal
The Wuerth Museum purchases several of Nicholas’s paintings.
Again, Nikola is living in Belgrade, where new paintings and exhibitions are being created, New Day Yesterday, Moonlight Mile, Everness. He exhibits in many cities, his paintings become part of private collections as well as of museums world-wide.
Nikola creates new spatial relationships as the key for reorganizing the time of telescopic and microscopic aspects of objects. Images are within images as if they multiplied and created new dimensions, carrying micro atmospheres. Exhibition by exhibition, relief and shadow give way to liberated spaces that only seemingly carry a void.
Since 2007, Nikola has been living with the artist Jelena Krsic.
In 2010, the exhibition “Shitting” displays drawings of flies.
The step forward in drawings where, in an abstract atmosphere, we can recognize oversized flies compared to their life size, represents Nikola’s step forward into the field of out-of-time, inspired by the song of Alexander Sekulic, A Fly on the Beard of God. Otherwise a fly causes repulsion, it is the one that is omnipresent, that approaches a nice meal and a rotten carcass equally, the one which might have gone to the cosmos by a rocket, the one which does not live the world of duality. Fly as a cleaner and a hero of our material world.
In 2011, Nikola displays Dellicatessa mix media drawings. Here the author compares food delicacies as something finest and a culmination of culinary taste with the human need to experience the peak of life. All human this-worldly labor is that feeling of perfect satisfaction.
2012-2015 he creates the exhibition called Dodecatlos.
In this period Nikola begins the study on coloration. For this, he chooses the Greek Myths, as the earliest spiritual activity, the objectification of emotions, the feeling transformed into an image. He paints in large, wide strokes and layers of a pallete knife or a brush, sometimes creating monochromatic surfaces. Two groups of images are defined, those that approach geometric abstraction and the others close to colorful expressionism. By a three-year experimenting with color, Nikola transforms his handwriting and procedures, not to abstract the phenomenal world, but to shape the abstract contents, to translate them into the language of the painting. Gradually, in this process Nikola unites the intimate and collective space.
In 2015, the exhibition was held at the Cvijeta Zuzoric Gallery in Belgrade, then in Nis, Pozarevac, Cacak, Tivat.
Since 2015, Nikola’s private life has undergone major changes. Loss of his mother Jelena, then a close friend and artist Zoran Grebenarovic, moving to Munich. Nikola creates, Nikola looks back at his memories, he meditates on the existence of the past in the present; on the power of the images of the past, of the invisible thread that holds all these images of the past in the present, carrying them continuously while groping the reality and events of the future. Just like his remembrance, in today’s paintings one thread holds all the previous Nikola’s works of art in the current paintings, opening new dimensions in the perception of existence.
In 2018 the Gallery X Vitamin displays his exhibition As It Used to Be.
Nikola has a daughter, Vana, at Doctoral Studies in English Literature in Belgrade,
Andjela, at the postgraduate studies of Anthropology in Brussels,
Ana, at the undergraduate studies of Photography and Film Camera in Belgrade.