About the Artist
As an artist and social activist, my work aims to create haunting,sometimes dark but always memorable sculptures symbolic of injustices to humanity within our society. My goal is to create a profoundly visceral disturbance in the soul that calls out for help. Empathy for others is a consistent theme in much of my work – empathy and compassion for members of our community that are misunderstood, stigmatized, and at times ostracized. Individuals living with mental health difficulties and those suffering the scourge of addiction and its many knock-on effects are perhaps dually isolated in the ‘new normal’ that began in 2020 triggered by a raging pandemic. My art highlights the pain and struggles we endure that originate within and those shaped and exacerbated by forces without, including the forced seclusion of this new world. The heightened levels of loneliness stemming from isolation rend so many of us vulnerable to social media’s subversive influences, ruthless marketing, and corporate greed.
My most ambitious, personal, and controversial project was the Opioid Spoon, an eight hundred pound, ten-foot metal replication of a simple household utensil modified for use as a tool to cook and inject opioids. I crafted the Spoon in honor of my own family’s struggles and those of thousands of families who have lost loved ones to the horrific opioid addiction epidemic. To bring attention to the pharmaceutical industry’s malfeasance that created this national crisis, I dropped the Opioid Spoon in front of OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma. The Opioid Spoon has since become a dark, national symbol of the epidemic and big pharma’s responsibility and complicity.
Drafting and designing sculptures from metals is a passion that stems from my desire to combine engineering accuracy with artistic creativity. For me, the technical aspect of my art is almost as stimulating as its emotional and aesthetic intent. The process I employ marries older sculpting methods such as blacksmithing, ironworking, and sand casting with modern-day industrial design utilizing computer-aided design (CAD).
Metal is such a versatile material to work with. I can use heat, pressure, or even a simple hammer to coax metals into almost any shape. The sense of pleasure and accomplishment I get from finishing one of my sculptures is immeasurable; the burnt fingertips, the perpetually dirty hands, cuts and bruises, all culminating in these final pieces of art. The artistic objective of my work is to expose injustice, but my inspiration comes from many facets of my life, cultural experiences, and travels. My earlier works draw from an interest in Asian culture and its architectural aesthetic embodying peace and tranquility. Today, my sculptures reflect the disparate, thought-provoking combination of calm and tragedy, silence and despair.
Domenic Esposito is an artist and activist who achieved national attention through the massive opioid spoon sculptures he placed on the doorsteps of those he deems to be major contributors to the opioid crisis. He founded the Opioid Spoon Project, a 501(c)(3) in 2018 to serve as the voice of truth, solutions, and as a platform for constructive social change and legal accountability for the opioid epidemic and its deadly and destructive effects on people from all walks of life.
An obsession with metalworking set the artist on his current path. The process he employs marries older sculpting methods such as blacksmithing, ironworking, and sand casting with modern-day industrial design utilizing CAD (Computer-Aided Design). In his work, the artist seeks to incorporate cultural elements that go beyond his native Italian aesthetic. In particular, many of his earlier pieces draw upon Asian architectural aesthetics embodying peace and tranquility. His current work is increasingly emotional and wrought with social messages demonstrating an artist coming into his own.
His works have been exhibited at many galleries and art fairs, including Speak Up, at the Piano Craft Gallery, Boston; Scope, NYC; Art Palm Beach; the SOFA Chicago Art Fair in 2019; and his first solo exhibition, ‘We’re Only Human,’ at Canvas Fine Arts in Boston. His work “Accountability” won ‘Best in Show’ at the Arts Benicia Juried Show in California in 2019.
The son of immigrant Italian parents, Esposito, was raised in both Boston and Italy. Esposito’s path to sculpture came later in life when, after a successful career in finance, he attended classes at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Stonybrook Fine Arts, Artist Asylum, and Prospect Hill Forge. He currently works and resides in Westwood, MA, with his family.