Angelo Musco, life and visions of a visionary man
Angelo Musco’s art involves turning reality upside down and creating works that run counter to preconceived ideas. Both literal and figurative organic structures (nests, amniotic sacs, eggs) stir deep emotions relating to the artist’s traumatic birth, an experience that left both physical and psychological scars.
Human bodies serve as Angelo’s medium and he melds them like hundreds of brush strokes, creating large compositions that re-work natural structures, from the XY chromosome to an ant colony to a gigantic swirling underwater nest. Masses of nude bodies form mosaics that are literal or symbolic representations of eggs, nests, amniotic liquid and other aspects of procreation.
Born in Naples in 1973, Angelo was born late. Due in part to the difficulty of this birth, as a child the right side of his body was weak. Feeling he would need special attention his parents sent him to a private Catholic school on the Bay of Naples. There Angelo was often entertained by high-speed boat chases as the police hunted down smugglers with black-market contraband like cigarettes. He would draw the boats not realizing how emblematic they were of the dangerous environment of living in Naples in the 70s.
When he started university at the Academia Delle Belle Arti, Angelo lived next to the Napoli Sotteranea, an ancient underground section of Naples. The mysticism, history and legends of this old city destroyed by Vesuvius became an ongoing fascination for the young artist.
For two semesters Musco lived in Spain as an exchange student. Since it was expensive to buy art materials, he started experimenting with installations crafted from different materials such as fire, stones and the bodies of his fellow colleagues. The next significant step in Musco’s artistic development occurred back in Naples where, along with a small group of students, he grew very close to one of his professors. This mentor took the students outside the classroom into the real world of contemporary art where they traveled and explored the frontiers of artistic expression.
Angelo’s travels through the art world led him to New York City a few times. On December 8, 1997, the day of the Immaculate conception according to the Italian calendar, he moved there.
When Musco realized that New York and Naples were on the same latitude he decided to explore this coincidence through a series of short videos shot in 11 different world cities that are all on the 41st parallel. The number 11 is significant as it is the number of months his mother carried him in her womb.
An exhaustive trip was mapped out from NYC to Viseu, Portugal, Madrid, Spain, Naples, Italy, Istanbul, Turkey, Baku, Azerbaijan, Beijing, China, Aomori, Japan, the Red Wood Forest, CA, Salt Lake UT, and Lincoln, NE. Unique experiences included filming in the Forbidden City, the threat of a religious committee at the Blue Mosque and seeing firsthand the shocking existence of families living in the oilfields of Baku.
His most recent work investigates natural occurrences of convergence and aggregation such as ant colonies, beehives, schools of fish and the sperm and egg in fertilization. His photo shoots, like his works, translate these occurrences on a visionary and massive scale. His photo shoots, held in private and in public spaces, have become increasingly complicated and often involve volunteers, models, businesses and government institutions. The results of this complex process earned Angelo an invitation to show his photo installation Hadal at the 53rd annual Venice Biennale.
Angelo Musco Production Promo
OVUM – by Angelo Musco, 2011
XYLEM – by Angelo Musco, 2011
TEHOM- the Show, by Angelo Musco, 2010
-The Making of Tehom, by Angelo Musco
The Making of Aranea, by Angelo Musco, 2009
The Making of MURMEK, by Angelo Musco, 2007