Manifest Artist Residency
Nicholas Mancini grew up with dreams of hockey stardom. He also came of age during a time when his family experienced many deaths, events that can only be comprehended later in life. When he was thirteen years of age Nicholas shattered his leg during a hockey game, ending his sports career. It was through this injury, laid-up and immobile for two years, that he discovered drawing. He began taking lessons on weekends with a man by the name of Kenneth Herwitz. Studying portraiture, anatomy and caricatures, Nicholas realized his appreciation for the human form early on. During Nicholas' sophomore year Herwitz passed away, reminding him of the family deaths that had impacted his early childhood. Although Herwitz was not related to Mancini, they had shared a vocation. As a result, Herwitz's death bound the emotion of loss to Nicholas' artwork. Though his teacher had died, the passion to work remained.
During his college years Mancini found it hard to stay in one place. Changing colleges twice, looking for new teachers and different methods, he discovered each school had a different overarching philosophy. He studied in programs at Tufts University, the School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Art Students League in New York City, Towson University, and the Maryland Institute College of Art. After graduating, Nicholas began showing work both in one-man shows and group exhibitions. He received a grant to live with, apprentice to, and study under Odd Nerdrum in Stavern, Norway for half a year. Days were spent painting and assisting Nerdrum, and at night they spoke of philosophy and art. Nicholas continued his travels in Italy the following year, living in Florence and experimenting with watercolor by observing the landscape. He moved back to his hometown, continuing to make work directly related to his surroundings, but with new inspiration from his travels and memories.
Many artists trade in their perception for a machine. Although photography can help us to further understand our individual vision, when the camera begins to shackle our view, the image loses human interaction. I work from life, utilizing the memories I hold while depicting the objects and people around me. When painting and drawing people, I study a person's specific anatomy as well as my relationship to his or her psyche. And just as light and temperature shift, I am interested in how these characteristics change as I work. The objects in my environment are also a source of inspiration to me. Whether its surface is shellacked or worn, its color saturated or faded, its structure intact or collapsed, an object has a visual history. Furthermore, it has a rich history connected to each person who comes into contact with it. I wish to examine both of these histories.
I strive to develop my work in many disciplines and media. Experimenting with music and film has given me a different perspective on the three media I explore most: oil paint, watercolor, and charcoal. When I write music I begin with a single idea which I record. From here I continue to layer recordings on top of this initial concept, letting it grow and achieve a thicker sound over time. Similarly, in watercolor painting, multiple layers of paint add up to one whole. This connection has influenced a change in my oil painting process. I have begun applying thin layers of paint, similar to glazes, in order to accentuate a feeling of time elapsing as the painting builds. Each discipline has its individual process; they all possess inherent qualities that make them distinct from one another. However, I hope to achieve a commonality between media. By creating an articulate vision, I believe I can weave the different disciplines together into a single stylistic approach.
This page will serve as Manifest's MAR document for Nick Mancini's Residency. We will occasionally update it with news, studio pictures, and works made while at Manifest. The images pictured at right are a sampling of those submitted with his application.
See more and learn about Nick's work here:
Also look for updates and images on Manifest's Facebook page across the year here.
Information on how to apply for future MAR awards can be found here.