New York-based artist Angelo Musco is taking the photography world by storm with his incredible mosaics made up of thousands of naked bodies.
Touching themes like birth, procreation and gestation, Angelo Musco creates complex structures of the natural world from an ant colony and beehive to a school of fish, using thousands of human bodies. “A swarm of fish captures a profusion of life, the safety of a symbolic nest, and a connection of one being to another. ‘It’s the strength derived from this collective force,” the artist says on his website. “The nests, as well, relate to the safe geography of birth and early life.” But Angelo Musco also draws inspiration for his unique mosaics from his traumatic early life experience.
According to Wikipedia:
“The youngest of five children, Angelo weighed in at 6.5 kilos (approximately 14.3 lbs.) when he was born after spending 11 months in the womb. A home birth to a child of this size was complicated; Angelo became stuck and turned blue, and the midwife panicked. Her determined extraction caused serious damage to both mother and baby. The newborn was rushed to the hospital, being in a critical state, and was stripped of his baby clothes. Musco’s aunt, uncle, and father returned to the household with the soiled clothes, upon seeing which, Angelo’s mother fell into a state of shock, thinking the child had died. The extreme stress spoilt her breast milk. Both mother and son survived, but young Musco was paralyzed on his right side for the first years of his life.”
Asked about the connections between this terrible experience and his art, Musco said: “More specifically it was the difficulty and trauma of my actual birth that colored my early life. Both my mother and I almost died in childbirth and I was left unable to use my right arm for the first years of my life. But I soaked up so much of the rich history and beauty of Naples and, because of the physical limitations, I was not inclined to do athletic play like others my age and I found expression in art and the images and visions I had in my head. My body was a constant reminder of my entry into the world and that awareness worked its way into the work.”
Angelo Musco’s photo shoots can turn into large scale events featuring dozens of naked models and volunteers. His work is even more impressive when you think he first has to visualize his artwork in his head, take the photos, then spend months, sometime years editing the photos on the computer and creating several panels that finally come together as a grand mosaic. For Tehom, one of his biggest pieces ever, he used between 150,000 and 200,000 naked bodies, and the result was mind-blowing.