Dominick Domingo is one of the most fascinating and engaging young men I have had the pleasure of meeting. I was in the process of helping my friend Andre Goeritz promote an exhibition of his paintings at The Coffee Table on Rowena recently so I went over to see the collection firsthand. While Andre had the bulk of work being exhibited, I couldn’t help but notice three very striking paintings in the first gallery. I had seen many of Andre’s paintings before and I knew that this was not his work. Two paintings in particular caught my attention: the first, a powerful depiction of a man crucified; the second, what appeared to me to be a depiction of Christ being held as in the position of Michelangelo’s The Pieta yet being embraced by a man and not his mother, Mary. These paintings were disturbing and yet fascinating: definitely the work of a master. I picked up one of the calling cards on display and immediately gave the artist a call. At the other end of the phone, a man with a rich baritone voice deepened my receptiveness. I confessed how much I liked his work and that their quality and subject matter had seized my curiosity. I wanted to know what the paintings represented and who was the artist that had created them. The very next day I found myself having coffee with Dominick at his house on Kenilworth who was kind enough to grant me some personal time. I have since grown to appreciate this young man wholeheartedly and would like you to know him as well. As it turns out, his mother and I went to Glendale High School at the same time and well, yes, I remembered her: a perky little brunette with always perfectly-coiffed hair. The youngest of four, Dominick grew up in Southern California and showed artistic gifts from a young age. As a student, he excelled in illustration and won an honorable mention in the Jim Hensen Character Design competition. He was the recipient of the Ford Motor Company Scholarship, the Art Center Berger Foundation Scholarship, and The Ebell of Los Angeles Scholarship. He interned at Disney Feature Animation, where he was trained in all aspects of animation. After graduating with distinction from Art Center College of Design, Dominick enjoyed a ten year career painting backgrounds and concept art for Disney Feature Animation in both Los Angeles and Paris. His work can be seen in such films as “The Lion King”, “Pocahontas”, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, “Tarzan” and “Fantasia”. No wonder I like his work! During this time, he freelanced for such clients as Orion Pictures, Parker Brothers, Milton Bradley, Pacific Design Center and McDonalds. He helped to visually develop an animated series for “Comedy Central”. His illustrations have graced the covers of a half dozen or more books as well as two fully illustrated books for young readers. His publishers have included Putnam, Random House, Lowell House and Harcourt.
His exhibitions have included group shows for Disney’s Animation Research Library, New York Museum of Modern Art, Errea House, Circle Elephant Art, and the Eye Five Gallery in the Brewery Artist’s Complex. In 2001, he quit a very lucrative position at Disney to follow his dreams and take a more risky journey through life as a film maker. After attending the New York Film Academy, Dominick put his personal finances on the line and produced his first independent short film, “The Passer By” a beautiful little film which received excellent notices. It premiered at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, compliments of The Alex Film Society, as well as screening for Academy Qualification at the Laemmle Sunset 5. “The Passer By” was a finalist for the ABC/Director’s Guild of America Fellowship as well as being Runner-Up for the Roy Dean Film Grant. It has aired on West Hollywood Public Access Cable, ExpeditionU and Access Central in New York. It was screened at Aspen Short Film Festival, Key West Indie Fest, Telluride Indie Fest and The Palm Springs International Film Festival where it was voted “Best Short Film”. I had the pleasure of viewing this little film a couple of times and it is excellent: full of loveable (and hateful) characters, beautiful cinematic moments, and a story of love and longing, disappointment and yes, hope (to mention a few of the emotions that I felt while watching it). He has written a new screenplay entitled “Giving In” a telling autobiographical story about relationships, love lost-and-found, and moving on, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. (True confession: I have been handed plenty of screenplays in my life that I have been asked to give my opinion on, and it is the rare one that I have even wanted to finish). I wish him great success with it. Not being “in the business” I am afraid I couldn’t offer much practical help, but if I were “in the business” this is a talent that I would take great pleasure in promoting. Dominick (yes, he goes by Nick but doesn’t Dominick Domingo have a great ring to it?) is one of those people that has an irresistible persona that you want to hang around. Handsome and strong (and what man or woman for that matter do you know that doesn’t admire both?), he has all of the physical attributes of being a leading man with a ruggedly handsome face, the forearms of Steve Garvey, the shoulders and torso of an Olympian, and a deep, resonating baritone voice. They say that “the eyes are the window to the soul” and if it’s true, then getting a look into those deep green eyes reveals a lot about the person. What I have noticed in Nick is a man who has perhaps seen a lot and has a strong desire, even passion to communicate what he has observed and learned and share it with us. Whether that is done through a painting, a film or a conversation, Nick Domingo does it with great skill and passion. What more could you ask from a painting, a film or a relationship? While his first love of the moment is filmmaking, Dominick also enjoys teaching others what he knows. His teaching career began with helping to found the animation program at Laguna Art Institute. Today, he teaches at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art and Art Center. He has lectured and reviewed portfolios at B.I.O.L.A., World Animation Celebration, Society of Illustrators, Foundation of Disney Artists and S.I.G.R.A.P.H. You can view a few of his unsold paintings which are currently on display at The Coffee Table Gallery on Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake. Be prepared for something special! And if
you’re lucky, you might run into Nick on the Streets of Silver Lake or if we’re all fortunate, perhaps at the opening of “Giving In”.