He born in Mexico City in 1961, where he works and lives too.
In 1982 moved to NYC to study Film at NYU, where he obtained his BFA in 1986. In that same city, studied music composition at The Julliard School (1989) and at The Music Center (1983-1989). Premiered his own piano compositions twice (1987 & 1988) at the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, NYC. Later on, studied “Creative Writing” at SOGEM, Mexico City (1997-1998). Since the beginning of the 80’s to this date, has finished more than 100 shorts on film and video, composed the music for them, as well as for other film projects and different theatre plays, TV programs and radio. Has also been involved in performance and cabaret.
His film and video work –a hybrid between experimental and documentary– include a vast series of moving portraits, generally of artists from different generations and diverse cities. He himself has created the soundtracks to accompany these portraits, treating them as if they were ‘sound portraits’ of its subjects. His collection entitled Lost Portraits, which dates from 1982-1985 (comprising Individual Portraits, Double Portraits and Group Portraits), has been awarded at film festival ́s circuits. This collection of portraits has recently been acquired by MoMA in New York City (2016). His audiovisual work has been acquired by Laboratorio Arte Alameda and MUAC (Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo) in Mexico City (two important Mexican institutions). Has shown individually and collectively (more than 100 occasions in total) in universities, galleries, museums and festivals and in the USA, the UK, Holland, France, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Spain, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Dominican Republic, and Mexico. He has had retrospective shows at “Centro Cultutal Indianilla”, Festival Distrital, in Mexico City, at the Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia, as well as at the Centro de Cultura Digital, in 2015-2016.
In the year 2000, curator Rajendra Roy presents the entire collection of individual portraits belonging to his work titled ”Lost Portraits” in Anthology Film Archives, New York City, at the 14th Mix New York, Lesbian & Gay Experimental Film/Video Festival.
In 2003 became a fellow of the Media Arts Program (Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation). In 2005, Centre Culturel La Clef in Paris, France, presented a retrospective show, which covered work from 1984 to 2004. In 2006, presented a selection of work on film and video at The Museum of Modern Art, NYC, in a solo event called: “A Evening with Ricardo Nicolayevsky”. In 2009 had a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City. In 2010, Editorial Quimera in Mexico published his book titled 300 Aphorisms by Ricardo Nicolayevsky. In 2013 received the grant of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte del FONCA-CONACULTA, important distinction for artists, awarded by the Mexican Government.
He has been a teacher for 10 years at different institutions in Mexico City such as Centro de Diseño, Cine y Televisión, where he has offered Music Appreciation; and at Centro Cultural Border, where he directed workshops on Video Art and Sound Design.