Nelson Da Costa
Nelson Da Costa's painting draws on his boyhood in Angola, his training as an artist in Cuba, and his recent involvement with contemporary art in America. He has developed an approach to composition in which his imagery and symbology are united in one overall flat black silhouetted form, through the openings of which a second color shines.
The work can be read as a series of linked narratives and observations about Da Costa's life - his childhood, the murder of his family in Angola's civil war, and his use of artmaking as a gateway to the future.
Having immigrated to the United States in 2003, Da Costa has established a family of his own in Boston with his wife, the artist Maren Tober, and their two young sons. He currently studies in the joint MFA program of Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. In the past year his work has begun to become known in the Boston visual arts community and has been presented at the artist-operated gallery GASP and at Gallery NAGA.
"I have a story to tell," Da Costa says. "I have so much to say about the experiences I have been through. I use art to communicate about war and destruction, about sadness and poverty, about death and where people are going when they die."
"The creative process of painting is like a door to another world - the spiritual world of my past. Art is an immensely important part of my life, and with it I have been rebuilding myself. My paintings are an outlet for hundreds of stored images in my head of fear, death, starvation, diseases, war and persecution from my traumatic childhood in Angola. Other images recall the early security of, and later search for, love, family and spirituality."