© Dominic Musa

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Dominic Musa

Paterson, New Jersey

Artist Statement

I grew up in the mountains of Poughquag, New York, a rural area just west of the Appalachian trail. My childhood was spent in the woods behind the house my father built. The woods seemed boundless at the time, both daunting and comforting, a fertile ground to witness and a blank slate to invent within. I was drawn to the woods as a place where I could feel small as an observer, or large as a narrator, and it is this same feeling that drew me to painting. Abundant and wanting, singular and shared, painting offers a paradoxical space, just as the woods once did, to hold reality and fiction.

I use painting as a vehicle for reflection, as a means of drifting through unanswerable questions. The scenes are constructed out of things remembered, photographed, drawn and painted - the final image shifting between abstraction and representation. Often the figures in my paintings are pulled from moments directly observed or experienced- a man walking down the street, three men chasing a ram that escaped from the slaughterhouse, friends gathered in front of the great falls - all moments of connection, happenstance or intentional.

The human condition mirrors the condition of the painter, and my paintings allow me a space to suspend, dismantle and uphold this contradiction. With paint, I am both architect and observer. Throughout each painting, I seek to learn the limits of the medium. I scrape and tighten, wipe down and build up, stain the surface and drag the brush; figures are rendered, erased, and then restored anew. Paint is unique in its ability to hold such polarities, and it allows me a formal channel to describe the contradictions of trying to answer existential questions. Paint can mean nothing, or everything.

My paintings are a vehicle for navigating the world I inhabit. This world is one that is grown, built, dictated and performed- and I aim to capture that in my work. Fleeting scenes intermix organically, they are observed, recollected, and reconfigured. Questions of desire and need, guilt and honor, greed and obligation are answered in moments of pause. Each painting is a mirror, each painting is a window.

© Dominic Musa

Dominic Musa's Portfolio

© Dominic Musa

Artist Biography

Dominic Musa (b. 1989) lives and works in Paterson, New Jersey. He received an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from the SVA - School of Visual Arts, in New York. His past solo and group exhibitions include: Apple in the Dark, at Harkawik (New York), A Place Of One's Own, at Andrea Festa Fine Art (Rome), Itch for Solitude, at Galerie Nicolas Robert (Montreal), Outside and Around, at Y2K Group (New York), Unsettled Waters, at Taymour Grahne Projects (London), Dal Segno, at Y2K Group (New York), Anywhere Out Of The World, at Helena Anrather (New York), Highway Blues, curated by JJ Manford, at Underdonk (Brooklyn).



© Dominic Musa

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