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Nikheel Iyer Overcomes Obstacles with Art


Nikheel Iyer’s life has been a long and arduous journey filled with challenges and hard work. He has been hearing impaired since birth and does not communicate through sign language. Instead, he uses hearing aids, cell phones, Facetime, transcription services, speech-to-text systems, and much more to communicate with others. Most of all, Iyer expresses himself through art, which has interested him since he was young. Currently, he pursues an education in art and aspires to become an independent professional one day.

In his often solitary world, Iyer explores the conflict of the individual versus the community, and the self versus the cosmos, in myriad ways. He sees the world in various hues and shades depending on whether he is in silence or noise and he often tries to express these feelings in his work.

“Communication with the hearing world has always been a bit of a challenge for me,” he explains. “That’s especially due to the diversity of accents and pronunciation styles different from mine, but I solve the problem in my own way. My art is my link to the world.”

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After completing his High School Education in New Delhi, India, Iyer took up a course in Animation and Gaming Technology in Gurgaon, Haryana. Soon after that he joined the prestigious Parson’s School of Design, NYC, and completed BFA in the year 2019. Currently, he is taking further advanced art certification courses from the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture, NYC. Iyer feels he has learned a lot from each of these places, both in art and in life, and he continues to learn new things every day

Iyer’s achievements and struggles make for a whole host of questions, fears, doubts, anxieties, and opinions that are expressed through his work. The art’s themes center around human emotions, strengths, and vulnerabilities, uncontrollable rage, and frustration. Nikheel’s pieces also delve into multiple personas hidden inside the human psyche, threatening to come out.

“Art is a tool that transcends all barriers of communication, language, culture, and vocabulary,” he says. “It is here to stay, now and forever, waiting to be explored and expanded to greater heights and depths of human emotions and experiences. Human angst and universal issues of the self and our cosmos, need creative expression.”

Nikheel enjoys creating Neo-Expressionism, Pop Art , and Conceptual Art. He is also heavily influenced by Japanese comic art culture. Each one of these art styles relates back to the experiences that Iyer has been through in his life. He specifically feels that his unique perspective as a disabled, Indian millennial artist allows him to create pieces of art that are distinctively different from others.

Iyer’s work is just getting started, but he has a lot to already be proud of. He has overcome a variety of struggles due to his disability and is poised for a successful career post-education. Even after his education is complete, Nikheel plans on continuing to learn from those around him to supplement his current experiences in life and education.

“ Success, for me, is the ability to confront and deal inventively with the obstacles that come my way,” he expresses. “Success lies in finding ways out of a labyrinth of hazy issues in a strange world. Success is knowing I am different and rising up like a phoenix out of my own charred remains.”

Iyer has risen from a metaphorical fire that many would have succumbed to. As he continues to defy the odds, he hopes his art continues to evolve and allows him to express his unique viewpoint on life through a variety of artistic pieces.


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