Nicholas Capaldi

You may not know it to look at the site, but I've actually been drawing and painting pretty steadily throughout the holiday season. While I'll be sharing my latest work very shortly and you can still count on regular updates on my own work through this blog, I'd also like to start using it as a space where I can share influences or artists who are inspiring me through their own works. One of the most beautiful aspects of living in LA is the overwhelming flow of creativity.

It's actually difficult to find someone who isn't doing work in a creative field whether that be acting, directing, visual art, music, dance, design, etc. You'd think that with this being the case, you'd come across a lot of shit, but honestly every artist I've had the pleasure of meeting has impressed me. 

Nicholas Capaldi was one of the first people I met after relocating to LA from Florida. At the time, he was playing synth in an experimental metal band and we started hanging out through a mutual friend. He took me to my first (and only) Dodgers game, we hit up the local museums here and there, and we spent a lot of time at parties and shows. Initially, I had no idea of his talent and it wasn't until some time later that I actually had the pleasure of seeing his work in a gallery setting.

And the Waste of Seed - Nicholas Capaldi - 2010 - oil on canvas

Since the extent of my official art studies was a basic humanities course in a university that was one step removed from community college, I can't really describe Capaldi's works in any way other than personal. When I look at his paintings, I see a world that is alien and skewed, a reality where the displacement of something simple results in a slightly terrifying glitch. His pieces are like nightmares that steal your voice with terror, yet seem far away in the sunlight of the following morning.

Even as you try to explain them, try to make sense of that paralysing horror, you can't find the words. Looking at his paintings which are large enough to create the impression of falling into them, I'm reminded of the myth of the Philadelphia Experiment, a supposed military cloaking test gone awry in which soldiers were rumoured to have re-materialized fused to their ship or with their bodies turned inside out.

How Dinner Missed the Belly - Nicholas Capaldi - 2013 - oil on canvas

Capaldi also tends to use elements of still life painting stirred with his surrealism. At times, the titles of the paintings are worked directly into the pieces or plastered across the images themselves. Figures at once beautiful and grotesque, mutant eunuchs mingling with angelic hermaphrodites naked and bleeding, offer blank faces. Anatomy is externalized while the use of color is somehow reassuring and disjointing in its TV dinner hues of creamed corn yellows, canned ham pinks, and bleeding cranberry reds.

And How Everything Here Feels Good Now - Nicholas Capaldi - 2011 - oil on canvas

Of course, if you spoke to Capaldi he'd probably have his own drastically different take on it but I suppose that's the beauty of an image once it leaves the artist. Regardless of how close my interpretation falls to Capaldi's intentions, his work is stirring. Check out his site so you can stay posted on his work as he's pretty prolific: