Belarus • Brooklyn • born in 1981 • artist, collector
Artist in social media
Ordering an artwork

Biography and information

Nicholaas Chiao, aka Nicholas Chistiakov (b.1981, Minsk, BSSR), is a Belarus-American contemporary artist residing in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. He is known for his diverse body of work emphasizing portraits and figurative compositions, besides monumental paintings, abstraction, and other subjects.

Nicholaas Chiao is known for working in a multiplicity of styles and varied disciplines, from conceptual art to photorealist, abstract, expressionist, and neo-cubist paintings, from drawing to painting, sculpture, installation art, and performance.

Nicholaas Chiao was born and raised in Belarus in a family of Soviet computer scientists. Due to the collapse of the Soviet Union Soviet Computer industry also nearly ceased and his family was having difficult times. In 2000-ies family decided to relocate to the USA. In 2004 Artist attended the Belarus State Academy of Arts with moderate success in learning. Nicholaas himself never planned immigration and this opportunity came to him as a surprise. He recognized the possibility of immigration as an easy way to career advancement and money-making and quickly agreed to come to the USA with his family.

Upon relocating to the States, the artist immediately found the country very tough to survive for foreigners, and Brooklyn rentals scared him off. He was unable to live separately from his family. In 2005 he found a job as a Sign Designer for Jewish Sign Company in the Fort Hamilton area of Brooklyn. Also, later through Artnet magazine, he found out about the New York art scene and Art Fairs in the city, such as the Affordable Art Fair.

In 2006 upon time of searches, he found his first art dealer - Steven Hoffman of Behr Thyssen Ltd in Manhattan, who represented his works at the Art Fairs and gave him a solo exhibition at his Laight Street Gallery space. Steve Hoffman was quite successful selling his photorealist paintings of museum interiors in the price range of 1500 to 4800 US Dollars. In 2007 a solo exhibition of the artist titled “Time and Measures” took place. In 2008 the artist expanded the representation overseas when he started to work with Tallantyre Gallery in Morpeth, Northumberland, United Kingdom.

Nicholaas Chiao developed his signature photorealist technique of paintings using technology and modern equipment.

In 2008 he started to work with conceptual art and in more contemporary styles.

Nicholaas Chiao recognizes his Conceptual Artworks as the most important for his practice. Although as for 2023 these works were not even publicly exhibited. His conceptual work elegantly represents our society and issues of evolution, education, technology, ethics, and life and death in all glittering complexity.