Nick Mahshie builds installations, creates adornment for the body, and invents visually stimulating environments for his audience to explore. These are spaces where drawing, painting, screen printing, and collage intersect to create the saccharine landscapes of his imagination. As a Miami native, his work reflects the pop culture, clichéd tropical aesthetic and organic resilience that define the Caribbean-American landscape.
Simple and readily available materials allow him to prolifically create installations and wearable art with ceremonious appeal. Inspired by the fantasy of carnivals and the necessity–bred resourcefulness of his Cuban elders, he assembles cardboard, reconstructed used garments and painted surfaces to create work that is both visually saturated and socially engaging to an audience far beyond the art-consuming public. The size of his most recent installations summons the public to gather beneath kaleidoscopic canopies and within protective habitats, eliciting a feeling of transformation and healing possible through the collective reimagining of what a shared public space is and can be.
Nick holds a Masters of Design in Fashion, Body & Garment from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago under the direction of artist Nick Cave, and a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. He lived for five years in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he is better know as visual and performance artist Tranqui Yanqui.
He is the recipient of the 2017 RumChata Fellowship Award, and his artwork has been recognized by national Argentine newspapers such as La Nación, Clarín, and The Buenos Aires Herald, as well as international publications such as The New York Times and Time Out Magazine. He has been exhibited in ArteBA 2010 (Appetite Gallery), Fundacion Telefonica, and Fundacion OSDE (Buenos Aires), as well as Le Petit Bain (Paris), StarkArt (Zurich), and the Children’s Museum of the Arts (NYC).
He recently launched Tranqui Prints, a platform to develop his textile and installation design while working to build a shared workshop for other printmakers in Miami.