There’s a very proper looking lawyer in these parts leading a double life. Nicholas Vianna is also a performance artist
known as Mr. Nick (of Nick Nack Productions.) You can see him in action in Larchmont October 23, right after the Rag-a-Muffin parade at Sweet Teez.
It’s not every day you see a lawyer drawing whimsical scenes straight from his imagination. How did this artist "side" of you evolve?
I’ve always been drawing-even before law school- it has always been a part of me and I have stock piles of material going as far back as high school. The biggest challenge was always how best to get it out there.
I’ve always felt that my pictures lent themselves to a bigger theme or story, so over the summer I came up with the idea of the Pure & Utter Nonsense Show where I literally "perform the art" for an audience by showing my drawings as I recite poetry lyrics and storylines. The show is interactive in that it asks the audience to participate based on what they see and hear.
Ironically, being a lawyer helps from a public speaking and presentation standpoint although I have to say dressing up in "character" is something new.
Thus far I’ve worked with the New Rochelle Library, the Rye Reading Room, Anderson’s Book Shop and now Sweet Teez. Next month I’ll doing something with Cosi and I hope to be able to work with Westchester schools through the Westchester BOCES Arts in Education program.
What inspires you?
Music is a big inspiration. I often feel like my poems are like lyrics to a song in my head and even though I don’t play an instrument I feel like I hear the colors, moods and themes. It all comes out on the paper. Also, given all the things happening in our world, I can’t help but be influenced by what is in the news, books, movies and what I experience through life events.
Does living locally figure into your work in any way?
Absolutely. Being in Westchester and close to the Long Island Sound has inspired several drawings and one interactive story that I performed this summer called Larry & the Sea Nymph. Also, I cannot help but be in awe of the creative history we have here. How cool is it to be in the same community where Norman Rockwell painted and TerryToons Studios created characters such as Heckle & Jeckle and Mighty Mouse?
download flyer for Oct. 23 event