Born in Naples, Italy, the youngest of five children, Angelo Musco, weighed in at 6.5 kilos (nearly 14 lbs.) when he was born. Giving birth to a baby that large at home was complicated and caused serious damage to both mother and baby. Musco was paralyzed on his right side for the first years of his life. The medical term is Erb’s Palsy, a tearing of the neck, arm and shoulder nerves that can cause permanent damage and diminish the function of the affected side of the body.
Musco went to university at the Academia Delle Belle Arti. He took a small apartment in the historic part of the city located next to the Napoli Sotteranea, a subterranean second city, where the mysticism, history and legends of this old city, destroyed by the Vesuvius, created an ongoing fascination for the artist.
For two semesters he was an exchange student in Granada, Spain. He served tea at night in an old Arab Teteria to make money to survive since his family could only afford to cover his rent. Purchasing materials for painting was expensive so he started experimenting with installations and different materials such as fire, stones and his colleagues. This was the beginning of using the human body to convey his artistic language.
Musco visited New York City for artistic research, and then moved to the U.S. December 8, 1997. This date holds symbolic significance because on the Italian calendar it was the day of Immaculate Conception.
He keeps developing his work and exploring new media with recurring themes relating to his difficult birth, confinement, subterranean worlds, and natural architecture. The human body is the primary element in his work often woven, connecting masses of nude bodies into mosaics creating literal or symbolic representations of eggs, nests, amniotic liquid and other inspirations from the miracle of procreation. His work and research has evolved over the years leading to an invitation to show his Hadal photo installation at the 53rd annual Venice Biennale.
Musco’s investigation into the power of aggregation found in nature has fueled his most recent works. Turning reality upside down and creating works that run counter to preconceived ideas continues to be one of his trademarks. He melds bodies like hundreds of brush strokes, creating large compositions that are re-workings of nature’s structures from the XY chromosome to a nurturing ant colony to a gigantic swirling underwater nest.
Photo shoots in and around New York City, held in private and public spaces, have become increasingly more complicated but necessary to gather material for the artist. A photo shoot can become an event onto itself involving many volunteers, models, businesses and government institutions. Musco has begun exploring international photo shoots having already successfully staged them in London, and Buenos Aires with plans for Berlin, Amsterdam and Hong Kong