Jim D’Amato

Artist Q&A with Jim D’Amato

Jim D’Amato (born 1978) is an American artist known for his elaborate biomorphic paintings and drawings that explore the infinite and unknown. He’s interested in the possibilities of spatial dimensions and intricate forms that fuse the organic and synthetic. His use of line, labor-intensive process, and bold, minimal color palette have become hallmarks of his work. Through these devices, his work pushes the boundaries of contemporary abstraction and engages the viewer in a multitude of ways. His work has been exhibited in galleries, alternative spaces, and museum stores and is in prominent private collections throughout the United States. He has been exhibited in group exhibitions with KAWS, H.R. Giger, and others.

Destroyer’s Song 6, acrylic on canvas, 12″ x 12″, 2022

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Jackson Pollock. He cut the cord from everything that came before him, which is an incredible achievement. 

How did you become a professional artist?

It was my only real interest and the driving force in my life from childhood until now. For the most part, almost everything else has been a distraction from my work. Knowing that, working hard, and putting the time in got me here. 

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

I’m inspired by the unknown and what we can’t see. Spaces that may or may not exist in the natural world or the in the mind keep me going. 

Jim D’Amato, portrait by Nina Blumberg.

How is your work different than everything else out there?

My work lives on a very sharp edge between objectivity and non-objectivity. Because of that, the viewer is asked to participate and draw their own conclusions from it. 

When is a piece finished for you?

When it absolutely cannot stand one more mark or gesture, it’s done. 

What’s different about your current body of work?

A friend recently mentioned to me that they’ve “become sharper,” and he was right. I think it’s true both aesthetically and conceptually. 

What would you like collectors and curators to know about your work?

That I give a part of myself up for every piece; I also get a lot back. Making them is a transformative process. 

Destroyer’s Dream 2, acrylic on canvas, 23″ x 23″, 2018

Tell us about a few of your career highlights or moments that have greatly affected your career.

My relationship with the great Jack Whitten changed the course of my life as a younger artist. Years later, meeting Agnes Gund and becoming a part of her collection was a wonderful opportunity. Currently, my collaboration with Chellis Baird and the curator Josh Campbell for our two-person show “Reverberation” at High Line Nine Galleries has been very exciting. 

What’s coming up for you?

I’ll be releasing a new edition in the spring and have some other projects coming up soon after that. 

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out today?

To think long-term and be patient. 

Who are some of your favorite underappreciated artists that you don’t think get enough attention?

Chellis Baird, who I’m exhibiting with now, is at the top of the list. Her work is powerful. 

Red and Grey Vortex 3, acrylic on canvas, 12″ x 12″, 2022

To learn more about Jim and his work, please visit www.jim-damato.com.