N. Zverev was born in 1954 in the city of Borisov, Vologda Region, and studied at the secondary art school at the Academy of Arts in Leningrad. The artist began his career in the mid-1970s. The mood of time Zverev felt when he got into the Leningrad underground environment. Among nonconformist artists, he immediately found like-minded people and in 1981 joined the Association of Experimental Fine Arts. He survived the era of apartment exhibitions and the period of the search for self-expression against the background of official art. N. Zverev created his own style, expressive and unique, unknown to a wide circle of viewers. He always proceeded from his inner feelings and wrote as he could, without imitating anyone, without copying anyone.
Nicola created a magnificent gallery of portraits of his contemporaries, including his friends, artists, photographers, poets, and writers. This is an amazing generation of people of the passing era, characters and destinies that have become part of history. Zverev did not try to convey a mirror similarity with the model — he touched invisible strings of the soul. To comprehend the image, the artist only needed to feel the "mysterious movements of the soul," he even coined the term "Taidism" for this. Nikola was an insightful person and beautifully conveyed the character and mood of the person being portrayed. The background of the portrait has always remained neutral, sometimes emphasized texture. The figure of the model appeared on it with a clear silhouette, perceived as an applique superimposed on a canvas or paper. The depicted person, immersed in his thoughts, is also detached from the world, just as his figure is from the background. The artist works out only certain details of the costume or facial features, the rest is generalized, as if fixing himself on what is interesting to him. Zverev so deeply and emotionally approached the creation of images that communication with his work results in a fascinating dialogue of two generations. He created not portraits, but faces of time, bright figurative symbols of an epoch.
In the work there are watercolor landscapes and still lifes, and there is a series of works that the author called "masjuliki". These are small-sized pictures made in a mixed technique, most often in watercolor or tempera. The works reveal to the viewer the world of mysterious heroes and symbolic images. The figurative plastic of these works is built on the smooth flow of lines and forms flowing into each other. The decorative beginning is combined here with the rich imagination of the author.