For over 20 years, David D’Agostino has pursued a nomadic path across the Spanish Peninsula, North Africa and Southeastern Europe, including extended treks in the Balkans and deep into the Egyptian Sahara. In 2015, he returned to New Mexico to open a studio practice in Albuquerque, where he has committed to creating art that reimagines the beauty, strength, and impermanence of the natural world.
David’s exhibition career includes being invited into the politically-inspired Bulgarian collective ‘XXL’, and was the first American to have a studio and representation with Townhouse Gallery in Cairo–a prominent contemporary art space in North Africa. D’Agostino has maintained strong relations with the local art scenes in Sofia, Bucharest, and Cairo, and has organized local exhibits in the US, including ‘Bloodlines’ at the MCA Denver which featured a number of leading Bulgarian and Russian artists. In 2019, he was a featured artist at the 25th Anniversary exhibit of the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles. He participated in a seminal group retrospective at the National Gallery of Art in Sofia in 2017 and constructed an inter-media installation at the Saad Zaghloul Contemporary Art Center in Cairo. In 2015 D’Agostino collaborated with artist Noah Phillips to create a multimedia installation and performance, ‘Parental Fatigue’, for the Biennale of the Americas in Denver and Mexico City, hosted by Performance Art Now. He was also selected for New American Paintings no. 126.
His paintings manifest the artistic philosophy of the Qing Dynasty painter Shi-Tao, who emphasized landscape’s subjective perspective and the use of shifting negative space and energetic forces to reveal nature’s essence.
David’s installations are built using basic carpentry skills similar to 19th century American village manufacturing. The installations embrace the early childhood educational ideals of Friedrich Froebel, the 19th c. German philosopher who invented ‘kindergarten’–but with an adult twist.
He actively maintains a parallel creative path between painting and installations exhibiting in private and public galleries and museums. For community outreach, David teaches and volunteers through Catholic Charities mentoring local refugee youth from Afghanistan.
In 1989 my first major exhibit of 11 wood sculptures and multimedia constructions took place at Etherton Gallery in Tucson. Previously, in 1986 I had installed a sculptural “Artist’s Window” (Wild Dog Diorama) at Franklin Books in NYC as part of an NEA funded project. During that time (1983-91) I was a primary care physician (UNM School of Medicine, M.D. ’80) with the Indian Health Service in Zuni, NM. I had minored in Art at Stanford University (B.A. Human Biology ’74) and throughout my medical career I painted, drew, made photographs, and made sculpture.
I took graduate-at-large studio art courses at UNM, welding at CNM, and various mini-residencies at Anderson Ranch and Penland (schools of art/crafts). Underlying academic training, being self-taught has helped me retain a sense of naivete and unconventionality in my work.
I constructed FLYWAY in 2009-11, the largest piece in the City of Albuquerque Public Art Collection, under the auspices of Land/Art New Mexico. FLYWAY, an homage to sandhill crane migration, is nationally recognized as the subject of the Emmy Award winning documentary “Flight Path: The Flyway Project”. It was internationally recognized by the Guardian (London, UK: 6/21/2013) in “Top Ten Art and Culture Venues in Albuquerque, NM”.
Upon retiring from medicine in 2016 I began making art full-time. Since 2019 I have been in numerous exhibits in NM, AZ, and TX, showing sculptures of wood or salvaged steel (including a second major show of 14 sculptures at Etherton Gallery in 2020), watercolors and drawings, and a public art installation: RIVER—A Reconstruction of the Rio Grande, first shown at Exhibit 208 in 2020 and subsequently at Open Space Visitor Center in 2021. I have just completed a large salvaged steel sculpture, CRANE, proposed for public art installation in New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, or California.