Nicky Watts was born in 1982 in Worcester, Massachusetts. She attended Fisher College and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago for fashion design and finished her education at the University of Illinois at Chicago with a BFA in Art Education.
During her attendance at UIC, Watts organized seventeen art exhibitions and presented her work in fourteen shows, nationally. Watts has been known for using fashion, painting, performance, photography, and sculpture, at any giving time in her artwork. She is responsible for starting a new type of performance called a Livin Performance and she has used materials like recycled paper in ways not seen prior. Her medium choice is conceptually driven and not limited to her specialties.
Watts’ early work consisted of portraits of emerging artists, performers and comedians. In 2006, Watts participated in an anthropological research study in Guatemala and produced an internationally exhibited collection of photographs conceptually analyzing the misconceptions that photographs can cause about foreign cultures. Her work continued to explore people and culture through out her early career. She shifted into a conceptual focus exploring behavior patterns in 2009.
She is currently producing an international tour for a series of conceptual performances in which she explores her relationship with emotional isolation and feeling disconnected from her peers and family by living her day-to-day life with her head in a Plexiglas box. In addition, she is performing audience performances that explore specific behavior patterns that create the emotional isolation of the box. This tour, called Nicky Watts In A Box has traveled through the United States reaching California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Illinois, and Ohio. On April 15th, Watts leaves to India, Thailand, the Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, Romania, Italy, France, Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom, Spain, Norway, and Finland to perform another fifteen performances, totaling thirty Nicky Watts In A Box Livin Performances total.