Jeff Musillo: “Art Makes Me Feel Like Myself”

Artist name: Jeff Musillo

Featured Work 1: Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad

In Jeff Musillo’s work, the paint becomes the subject and speaks for itself in diverse ways.  He describes his process in an interview with Brooklyn Artistry:

“I paint with the canvas on the floor. For me, it’s the physical nature of that process that inspires me the most. It’s almost like a dance. It’s a workout. Circling the canvas, working on one area and quickly moving to another, it’s non-stop and absorbing.”

Featured Work 2: Powder Blue

Powder Blue

The study of how paint interacts with itself while it is wet and dry is evident in both of these pieces. These works show a strong interest in how paint moves and gathers on a flat plane, and the patterns and textures that result from action painting.

5 Questions for the Artist:

  1. What is art to you?

“Art makes me feel like myself. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind. Work, bills, discomfort, feeling like your neck deep in an ocean of lunacy with cinderblocks strapped to your ankles. That whole thing. But all that stuff goes away when I paint. When I paint my mind is clear and I think of nothing else but the painting, and that brings about my most genuine side.”

  1. What did you make in the past, and why?

“I used to make abstract-symbolic art. I tried telling stories, oftentimes existential, by use of signs and codes. I would plan and sketch everything out beforehand. I don’t think that process worked out too well. The paintings were flat and regularly lackluster. But I’m still glad I went that route. It taught me a lot about spacing and color combinations, as well as how to use the correct part of the canvas for the right line of attack. It also taught me what I truly wanted to do as a painter.”

  1. What are you making now, and why?

“I’m still making abstract paintings, and I’m still trying to tell stories through these paintings, although a more subtle story without symbols, but I’m now utilizing a style that relies heavily on spontaneity. I still occasionally sketch out before I start working on the canvas, but I do so way less. I’m more interested in actions and reactions and finding a way to blend and keep my imagery moving. I now like to think of the painting like a puzzle and the paints like the pieces that bring everything together.”

  1. What are your hopes for the future?

“My hopes are somewhat simple. I just want stay curious and remain excited about finding new styles and new methods to create imagery. I love laying out my paints and thinking, what can I do with these? I hope that question never goes away.”

  1. Do you want to add anything?

“Support living artists. Please. Even if it’s something as simple as sharing their work on social media, or something bigger like checking out their showcase in person. Those who paint, or work in film, literature, music, etc. deal with a lot of negativity, so positive support goes a long way.”

Artist Supplied Background: Jeff Musillo is a writer, visual artist, actor, and director. He’s the author of The Ease of Access (2013) Can you See That Sound (The Operating System, 2014) and Snapshot Americana (Roundfire Books, 2014). His new novel, The Eternal Echo, will be published in January by Strawberry Books. His paintings have been exhibited throughout New York and have been showcased in magazines in both the U.S. and Europe, including The Menteur in France, Lovely Magazine, and Aesthetics Magazine. His paintings will soon be seen in the upcoming film, In Case of Emergency. His work in film, as a screenwriter, director, and actor, has premiered at The Hoboken International Film Festival, The Jersey Shore Film Festival, and The Katra Film Series. He was recently cast in the pilot, Holiday Shelter and his screenplay, In The Ring, is currently in pre-production and will be directed by Aaron Latham, who wrote Urban Cowboy and The Program. You can also follow him on Instagram.


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5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers



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