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Meet Dom Victoria

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dom Victoria.

Dom, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I think I’ve always been destined to be an artist. My mother’s family is full of them. My mother, Jennifer, went to FIT. We’re musically inclined, theatrically, just a lot of stored talent. But I think how it really got started was sitting on my great grandmother’s floor in the Bronx and watching her draw. I had never seen someone draw, in person, in such a realistic way before. I had been to the art museum but seeing someone do it with my own eyes changed everything about my connection to art. I think that moment and my great grandmother Anesta not only opened my eyes to the fact that real people make these beautiful things you see in museums but that a beautiful black woman, the matriarch of my family even, could be one of those people. Yeah, that moment sparked something in me that still burns.

Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t think smooth rides make for compelling art. But I do think many find art to be a good coping mechanism through which to process trauma. I think that’s something I get from art. A way to process. It may also be a reason so much of my work is process-based. I’m not particularly one to talk about my struggles but I am having a funny realization about them these days. I grew up around an abusive authoritative man and honestly, I have zero tolerance for them in my life as a grown-ass person so it’s sparked some difficulty in school and a lot of confronting male power in my work via inserting needles into body parts.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My work is the way I normalize the things I’ve experienced so themes like sex work, size, and race come into play often. Fabric is also something that is dear to me so in combination with sewing it’s all over my work. The surfaces I paint on are fabric I’ve prepared via a sewing machine. I call myself a sculptural painter because for me the surface I paint on and the structure is just as important as the paint is. And of course what I’m painting. I think both the series, which I’m not sure are series but whatever, I’m currently working on are highly based in my experience as a plus-sized sex-worker. I can’t say that those are experiences, together or separately, that are seen and definitely not normalized. And to be clear, I don’t mean normalized in the way of something specific being standard but more that we all need to realize that experiences are variable and that representation for those variable experiences should be the goal. I think sharing my experience through art of being fat, being a sex worker, is a way to nudge things closer to that goal.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
You know, I don’t think I’ll ever love LA. I’m California born but East coast raised through and through. So there’s a lot I don’t like about LA. Downtown is everything to me and honestly, I didn’t know the magic of a real taco before I got here and those are beautiful things that are hard to leave. Plus, I’m still not ready to deal with snow again.

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