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Artwork by Nick Papa
Artwork by Nick Papa
Biography

When I think about the parts of my life that are most relevant to my making, I think about being a first generation Italian-American. I think of my childhood in southern New Hampshire, spent watching movies and listening to music from the 1950s and 1960s. Artmaking and writing have always been a huge part of my life, but my move to Boston in 2014 for university was the most extremely formative event, for both myself and my work. Since coming to SMFA, my practice has taken form as paintings, drawings, music, installation and photography, along with some film and video performance.

Artist statement

I’ve become really invested in the idea of prepared spaces, both visible and invisible ones, as a way of talking about how outdated or flawed some of the standards we uphold are. We have motel rooms and gallery spaces that were designed in the 1950s and 1960s and have stayed that way since. We have archetypes of femininity and masculinity and sexuality from the same era that we still endorse culturally. We navigate a lot through systems of assumptions. I like to point to the love/hate relationships we can have with prepared spaces, and to present the feeling of a system not working for us, our work, our expression of ourselves, and our love, now.