There is no more horrific notion than to face deep seated beliefs and strip away all meaning from them. What is left? Is it the Godless philosophy of Sartre or the beginning of a complex and wonderful new vision? On one level of interpretation, the brilliant work of artist, Nicholas Rispoli, presents an argument that leads to both an ethereal and simultaneously troubling truth—that Spirit emerges from the randomness of existence. His secret to revelation is to become free from corrupting prescriptions. As Nicholas writes, his figures are: ... “rebellious, sinister, manipulative, loving, erotic and satirical. These figures must liberate the idea of spirituality from its supernatural penitentiary and understand the beauty of our particles just being part of nature. Religion and spirituality seduce our imaginations into believing there must be more when really, the answer is right in front of us.” As a result, Nicholas struggles to push the limitations imposed by the materials themselves. He writes: “I believe that pushing these materials to their absolute limits – one more scratch and the paper will tear – one more mark and the ink pen will explode – is an important part of bringing the figures to life.
Nicholas Rispoli received his BFA from Manhattanville College, and his MFA from the New York Academy of Art where he became a Dedalus Foundation Master of Fine Art Nominee. During his time at the Academy, he was also awarded his first artist residency at La Escuela de Diseño de Altos de Chavón located in the La Romana, Dominican Republic. He later revisited the institution in 2013 to teach Ceramic Sculpture and complete his second artist residency.
Nicholas has remained on the sculpture faculty at Pace University since 2010 and has taught at several institutions throughout New York, including The Harlem School of the Arts, the Bedford Hills Women’s Correctional Facility College Program through Marymount Manhattan College, and the New York Academy of Art’s Continuing Education Department. As a visiting artist, Nicholas has worked with the Museum of Art and Design, Bronx Council on the Arts, La Escuela de Diseño de Altos de Chavón and Manhattanville College, among others.
From 2014-2016, Nicholas curated exhibitions for Window Studio located in Brooklyn. At Window Studio, he collaborated to earn Brooklyn Arts Council grants for the project in 2015 and 2016. In addition to being on faculty with the New York State Summer School for the Arts (NYSSSA) Visual Arts Program since 2012, he became the Assistant to the Artistic Director in 2016. Nicholas exhibits his work regionally and internationally and makes art in his Bronx-based studio.