Jeff Krauss: What inspired you to become an artist?
Domingo Zapata: My dad was a car painter and my mom was a tail or so I guess I was surrounded by paint and creativity since I was born. I don’t remember a day in my life without painting or drawing something.
JK: It definitively runs in the family! I understand your heavily involved in raising awareness for endangered species. What charities are you working with?
DZ: I don’t work with any one in particular, however I do love to create awareness with my work and help charities that present a good program that protect the habitat of these beautiful animals.
JK: How do you infuse your artwork into all the philanthropy you do? How does each blend into the other?
DZ: Well I try to help organizations that I believe are working hard to help this our world be a better place for everyone. I love helping children because I have two little ones. Being a good father is everything to me. I believe I have been given so much in life that I love to give back to charities.
JK: What are your biggest passions that go into each? What causes are you most passionate about?
DZ: Little kids get me all the time! Can’t help it.
JK: You recently unveiled a 5-foot-long stainless steel shark in the lobby of the United Nations headquarters to raise awareness for the state of the oceans. Tell me how that came about as that’s an impressive piece which I’m sure that must have been a huge undertaking.
DZ: It’s an honor for any artist to have the recognition of such an important institution. I believe that the ocean need to be preserved and that without it we are nothing. Everything started with a casual conversation with different UN ambassadors and it happened very organically as most of the beautiful things in life happen. I put the project together and donated it to the UN to make a statement that can be seen by the Ambassadors on a daily basis.
JK: Any legendary artists that you look up to that have inspired you as an artist?
DZ: Picasso, Dali, Goya, Warhol and Basquiat.
JK: What’s next for Domingo any new projects you’re allowed to disclose?
DZ: My next show will be in Paris. It will be my first solo show in Paris and I am honored and excited.
Domingo Zapata was born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain on December 22, 1974. He later moved to London to attend Regent’s College then to Washington, D.C. where he studied contemporary art with a focus on acrylic painting and pastel drawing at the American University. He is a Spanish-American artist who maintains studios in his Gramercy Park townhouse in New York City, the Design District in Miami, and Hollywood.
For over 20 years Zapata has built a body of work which varies significantly in motif, while consistently exploring themes of sexuality, opulence and vitality. He paints in both oil and acrylic, often incorporating mixed-media, collage and graffiti. He is best known for his signature “Polo” series which first gained him critical acclaim. His work focuses on native Spanish culture, American Pop icons and classic literature. His clients include Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and the investment bank Goldman Sachs. He often draws on his experiences as a songwriter and has worked with artists such as Michael Jackson and Jon Secada and exposes his deeply poetic imagination by incorporating text and visual cues into many of his works. The artist has prepared a poignant, commemorative mural for the lobby of Freedom Tower in Manhattan, the newly restored Colosseum in Rome and the lobby of the landmark Plaza Hotel in New York. His work is featured in several architectural locations such as the Union Square location of NYC’s W Hotel.
To learn more about the cause Domingo Zapata is so passionate about, please visit: http://www.wearetheoceans.org/
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