By Tammy Scileppi
Picasso viewed his world unlike anyone else on the planet.
The Spanish artist, who lived and worked in France, saw people and things as abstract shapes, lines and intertwining forms. But Cubism was only one of several art periods he was famous for.
Works which reflect an ever-changing style and approach probably mirrored his changing moods and personal experiences, revealing an unmistakably surreal take on life.
Perhaps you can say the same about contemporary artist and Queens native Domingo Carrasco, who draws inspiration from Picasso and his other favorite master, Matisse, for his own collection of riveting masterpieces.
Stop by Q.E.D. in Astoria — located at 27-16 23rd Ave. — where you can check out Carrasco’s series of thought-provoking, conversation-starting abstract paintings, now on view seven days a week through December.
Q.E.D.’s newest artist-in-residence undoubtedly sees the world around him in unexpected ways, as reflected in his oeuvre. When the mood strikes, Carrasco projects his artistic version of reality onto the canvas, time and time again, just for your viewing pleasure.
The venue is hosting an opening night reception Sunday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., in celebration of the new installation. The artist has partnered with Q.E.D. to present “Themes & Variations,” his series of recent creations celebrating line, color and classical forms.
Combining a love of non-objective painting with linear figurative forms, his body of work attempts to “idealize the human spirit whilst emphasizing a fascination with notions related to classical imagery,” according to Carrasco, 40, who was born and raised in Woodside and has been very active in the arts community here in Queens, where most of his family and friends reside.
“I grew up in the 80’s. Hip-hop culture was a visual culture. Flash was the name of the game. It was called style. It started to rub off on me in many different ways, including making art. As a young kid in this environment, I was able to thrive in ways that enabled me to figure things out for myself,” Carrasco said. “Having my family support me at an early age had a profound effect on me. Their validation gave me license to grow and fly.”
The artist discovered early on that visual art was an integral part of his world.
He attended the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan and later Queens College. There, his interests shifted to education and he obtained an undergraduate degree in elementary education. But his desire to pursue art once again came into play when he returned to the City University of New York at Lehman College, where he received his Masters of science in art education.
“I love art because it allows me to speak a language that encompasses who I am. This language is not only the lens through which I engage with others but is also the engine of my pursuits,” Carrasco said. “Every time I set off to make art, I am opening a door that will reveal to me endless possibilities. It is inside this space that I get to express and put out what the world has made me.”
“Themes & Variations” captures the artist’s struggles through his signature use of bold line and color. It’s as if he seeks to tame the physical properties of the medium without compromising the narrative element of the work. Carrasco describes it as “simplifying, exaggerating, and, at times, abstracting” his pictures “to evoke alternative perspectives” from his audience.
“I always look forward to new experiences and cherish those which have made me who I am. I source my desire to create from my immediate surroundings, as well as from the great modern masters,” he said. “Matisse and Picasso are my heroes for sure but American painter Milton Avery has my heart. His works feel honest and are painted with delicate care. Avery used color to express more at every turn. His works may look simple, but they are highly complex and present a narrative that celebrates the simple things in life.”
Since its opening, Q.E.D.’s gallery has featured rotating artwork from local artists, including photographers and painters, as well as experimental artwork, such as its most recent artist-in-residence, Liquid Light Lab.
“I’m sure I speak for most painters when I say that If it’s out of the studio then it’s out in the world,” said Carrasco, who lives and works in Valley Stream, L.I. with his wife and two young sons and. “And I am always grateful for any opportunities that allow audiences to engage with my work. Q.E.D. is a cultural space that has been supportive of artists. I’m happy to be a part of that tradition.”
“It’s always a thrill to highlight the work of an artist at Q.E.D., even more so when they are from Queens,” said Q.E.D. owner Kambri Crews. “Showcasing Domingo’s original and vibrant work further enriches the creative experience for patrons, and also serves as a great reminder that fantastic art can be found right here in Queens.”
Carrasco’s artwork will also be available for purchase through December 2018. Drink specials and light snacks will be available during the opening night reception. RSVP encouraged by visiting: www.qedastoria.com/products/domino-carrasco-themes-variation-gallery-opening-reception.