First published: Spring 2008
When he first started painting, Nikifor used discarded pieces of paper, including the inside of cigarette packs. This practice continued, so his works are generally small and on scraps that may be irregularly shaped, and even pieced together. Using mainly watercolours, gouache, crayon and, later, pencil, Nikifor found refuge in his art, and an emotional release that perhaps countered his alienation from his home town and from society at large.
Focusing his attention on the surrounding area, Nikifor travelled on foot and by train, often being ejected at the next station once the conductor learned that he had not purchased a ticket. This worked to his advantage: he simply enjoyed his point of arrival and sketched its environs.