Artist of the day 2/15/12 : Dark Art 3 : Angelo Musco


Angelo Musco

Musco was born in Naples Italy on February 3, 1973. He lives and works in New York City and has since 1997. As contemporary artist he is best known for photographic surreal landscapes built by thousands of nude bodies, where the natural architectures and visionary landscapes are filled with the haunting mysticism of his own origins.

Musco’s Childhood

Musco is the youngest of five children. He spent 11 months in the womb weighing approximately 14.3 lbs at birth.

The normal gestation time is 9 months, and average weight is about 6.5 lbs. Wow, he must have had a patient mother. In the United states they will only allow you to go over by a week maybe two before inducing or giving a C-section. My oldest and biggest son was two weeks early and weighed 10 lbs and 7 Oz’s, and that was a hard natural birth.

Musco was a home birth. A home birth to a child of that size was complicated. Musco became stuck and turned blue as he was no longer getting oxygen, and the midwife panicked. She was determined to extract the child, but caused serious damage to both mother and baby. He was rushed to the hospital in a critical state. At the hospital his soiled clothes where removed, his aunt, uncle, and father returned to the house with the clothing. Upon seeing the clothing Musco’s mother fell into a state of complete shock, thinking her child had died. The extreme stress spoiled her milk. they both survived, but young Musco was paralyzed on his right side for the first years of his life.

Musco’s birth injury is called Erb’s Palsy, a tearing of the neck, arm and shoulder nerves. It causes permanent damage and diminishes the function of the affected side of the body. An operation to fix the damage was scheduled, but when an illness impeded Angelo’s participation on the scheduled day, his superstitious mother translated the sickness as an omen not to have the risky procedure. Instead, Angelo spent the first ten years of his life in physical therapy, to strengthen and restore the injured side of his body.

I have to say he is luck to be alive.

His early years were spent in school or at his father’s grocery store helping deliver the daily orders in the neighborhood Barra, just east of Naples. His parents sent him to a private Catholic school because they felt Angelo would need special attention. The school was situated on the water, and he was often entertained by high-speed boat chases as the police hunted down smugglers with black-market contraband. He would draw the boats not realizing how emblematic it was of the dangerous environment of living in Naples in the 1970s. He started university at the Academia Di Belle Arti in Naples and took a small apartment in the historic part of the city, which was very dangerous at that time. This new home was located next to the Napoli Sotteranea, a subterranean second city. The mysticism, history and legends of this old city destroyed by Mount Vesuvius were an ongoing fascination for the young artist.

For two semesters Musco lived in Granada, Spain as an exchange student. The school was well funded with wonderful labs and equipment for students to use. Musco was not well funded and work serving tea at night in an old Arab teteria to make money to survive since his family could only afford to cover his rent. Because purchasing materials for painting was also expensive, he started experimenting with installations and different materials such as fire, stones and the bodies of his fellow colleagues. This was the first approach towards using the human body to create artistic forms. Musco visited New York City a few times for artistic research, and moved to the U.S. December 8, 1997. This date holds symbolic significance because it is the Catholic Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a public holiday in Italy.

Musco’s work

Recurring themes relate to his difficult birth, such as confinement, subterranean worlds, and natural architecture. The human body has taken more and more space in his work, often weaving and connecting masses of nude bodies in mosaics creating constructions that are literal or symbolic representations of eggs, nests, amniotic fluid and other inspirations from the miracle of procreation.

Since arriving in the States, Musco has held photo shoots in private and public spaces and are increasingly more complicated (Production Video). A photo shoot can become an event onto itself, involving volunteers, models, businesses and government institutions.

His work and research has evolved over the years. Musco’s investigation into the power of aggregations found in nature such as sperm during egg fertilization, an ant colony, beehive or a school of fish has fueled his most recent works. His visionary translation of such aggregation on a massive scale is not only visible in his work but is also palpable during his photo shoots.

View Musco’s gallery at

I would like to thank for sugesting Angelo Musco for todays Dark Artist.


Looking at this one project I sit in aw of his talent. This one project took a year for him to complete. Layer after layer of human bodies to create a spectacular and complex work of art. It is truly amazing.


4 responses »

    • Its all thanks to your suggestion. Thank you, it was a good artist for my dark art segment this week. I do think I am starting to get the hang of a blog. I will remember to make them more like this, thank you again I had fun with this one! I was thinking graffiti next week, but we will see. Whats your opinion?

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