Born, Nicodemo Antonio Massimo Mancuso and immigrated with his parents and sister to Canada in 1956. He was raised in the Italian section of Toronto. He began acting in high school, after a teacher had him read from "Julius Caesar" and later studied at Toronto's Bloor Collegiate Institute. He then enrolled in the University of Toronto, and majored in psychology. Although he studied for a career in research, he kept going to the drama department and auditioning for their roles. He later transferred to the University of Guelph and graduated with a degree in psychology. But it was acting that held his attention and showing up for an audition for a Studio Lab Theatre production marked the beginning of his professional acting career in the early 1970s. Nick won a Genie Award for Best Actor for the movie "Ticket to Heaven" in 1982. In addition, he has twice earned Best Actor honors from the Houston International Film and Television Festival, and another at the International Film Festival in Taomina, Italy. Although primarily known as an actor, Mr. Mancuso is also the author of numerous plays and poetry, director and accomplished painter.
ARTIST'S STATEMENT... My interest in painting came about through sheer chance by an accidental encounter one dark and rainy night with an old Impala driven by drunken teenagers somewhere on the outskirts of Pittsburgh around 1986 right after I shot my series Stingray. A sudden blow to the head and a recovery period in Pt Dume California and an essay by Henry Miller entitled "Paint as you like and Die Happy" and something triggered in me. I began to do watercolors, almost in a fury of activity. My friend and mentor, the Austrian painter Ferdinand Melichar announced to me one day that I was a "a painter." He taught me the basics of the craft -how to stretch canvas, how to gesso -how to mix color and I began to paint first in oil (which I love) and then in other mediums including, alkyds seaweed, dye, gouache, spaghetti and rags. I scratched and punched the paintings into existence, building a long "running studio" where I could run towards the canvas. I used everything from brushes to sticks. For me it a primitive dance, somewhat like my acting. I have no idea what I'm doing and don't care to know. I just enjoy it. Art is far too holy an experience and too connected to the corporate boardroom. For me it is neither holy nor corporate. It is visceral, expressionistic, therapeutic and Dionysian. There are mythic references in my works and religious overtones, Christian as well as pagan. i haven't a clue what I'm doing and I hope I never will. There's great quote by Fred Astaire which says it all. Astaire said "I don't dance to express myself... I don't dance to make a point... I just dance..." Well when I paint... I just paint...
PHOTO BY TIM LACY
by Nick Mancuso
“What is the nature of the ego mask, what is the look of your face before your parents were born?”
Mixed on Canvas Board
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