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Finding Honesty & Ritual In Art
By The Editors
Dario Mohr is a New York City-based artist set to graduate from The City College of New York-CUNY in Mahattan this semester. Following the success of his recent MFA thesis show at City College, we decided to feature his mesmerizing assemblages here at Quail Bell. He was kind enough to answer a few of our questions about his inspirations and process via email:
How do you describe your art practice?
I may one day be compelled to create a painting, sculpture, or assemblage. Then I may leave it alone for a while and then later see how it can relate to other objects or works that I created to amalgamate into a larger piece. Sometimes I subtract elements and replace them with others. It all depends on what I have around, what I acquire, and what I am compelled to get.
What are some of the ideas that inspire your art-making?
Meditation, reflection, veneration, sentimentality, pantheism, synchronicity.
What are your artistic rituals?
Vipassana meditation. I did a 10-day meditation retreat on a campground where we were not allowed to speak or acknowledge anyone's presence around us directly. I plan to do another this year and possibly every year moving forward. Experiencing that stillness was overwhelming, but it really helped me come to some creative breakthroughs. I also incorporated the meditation ritual into my daily life for a while before falling out of the practice a few months ago. I'm hoping to get back into a daily practice after this next retreat.
I also like record all of the synchronistic experiences that I have as I witness them. I'm not sure what I will do with this record but would like to incorporate it into my work in some way down the road.
How would you describe your journey as an artist?
Winding! I explored cartoon character design, fashion, graphic design, and street art to name a few, but find that my practice is culminating into a more focused place in recent years.
What's one of your current projects?
I am cutting up old paintings of mine into squares and putting them inside transparent slide sleeves in varying arrangements to make mosaic like motifs and abstractions that I hang on the wall.
Is there anything you hate about art-making?
Just the lack of space or time to create. There's nothing about the process that I dislike.
What advice do you have to other men of color who might doubt their abilities or "rights" as artists?
It's easy to be placed into a niche or category automatically, which is welcome by some artists but not others. If you have an clear voice and intention and don't want to be labeled or limited, push against those societal boundaries. Honesty resonates with people.
Learn more about Dario and his creations at DarioMohr.com.
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