Land of Scars
The Land of Scars will be Angelo Musco’s most autobiographical work to date. Prior to starting this work, images of Feathers and Flowers inspired by Egyptian Mythology drove his ongoing visual story where each chapter feeds from the previous work.
The Egyptian’s believed that in order to get into their version of Heaven, a lush Garden, at the end of your life your heart was weighed against a feather and if it was lighter than a feather you’d pass into a blissful afterlife full of vibrant flowers and vegetation (Aaru) but if you had a heavy or dark heart, you would not. The idea of what happens to all the people with heavy hearts filled the artist’s imagination and caused him to look at his own heart and contemplate all the people who had left a mark on him. Musco then began reaching out to ex-lovers, friends and family to invite them to pose for this special work and he was happily surprised by the positive response he received. It then required both domestic and international travel to photograph and create this necessary material. During this process he also decided for the first time to include his own body, which bear not only the scars of his birth but that of a freak accident that broke his right Humorous bone in 2018.
There is an emotional intensity in exploring and looking back at the memories of the people who have left their mark on you. For the artist it feels as if many of those people are stuck in his mind, desiring to break free which the work will convey by contorted body positions and the facial expressions of the models attempting to break out of the shear rock face where they find themselves trapped.
The artist’s research required him to find quiet places to process this work as it was forming and taking shape in his mind. This need to step out of his daily routine took him to the deserts, canyons and riverbeds of Utah, Arizona and Nevada. In those beautiful massive eroded lands, weathered over millions of years, there is a history captured in thousands of stratified layers of rock. This natural beauty impacted the concept and ultimately the construction of the final image as the artist displays the stratification of his own history and the weight found in his memories and heart.
Breaking open the mythology of a heavy heart or a heart as cold as stone, gives the work the impetus to unflinchingly show a life’s worth of emotional scares as an historic concept.
Musco hopes to complete this work in 2020, continuing the construction despite the Pandemic of Covid-19 which adds a complicating layer into the stratification of the rocks due to the unexpected factors of needing to work remotely, coordinate with assistants remotely and document new people and the missing models at a time when he cannot travel himself forcing unconventional ways of working due to health concerns and travel restrictions impacting this project. The final piece will be 40’ long by 12’ high. Today he continues this journey, sometimes virtually going around the world to meet and photograph the people of his past through various means. Many of those people understandably have moved on emotionally and physically with their lives creating a more varied perspective within the story that is The Land of Scars.