Artist Statement

Monica DeSalvo’s work explores her late father’s dementia and the caregiving dyad by visually preserving his vivid recollections, hallucinations, and quotes. DeSalvo draws the viewer into her surreal compositions blended with contour drawings and printmaking while using collage to combine representational and abstract imagery. Through her process, she arrives at images that are both camouflaged and distinguished in surface and depth. Imagery is interwoven with quiet storytelling, and her use of text is interspersed like sprinkles of thought. For DeSalvo, using her father’s paper memorabilia as collage elements or as found paper is like performing a duet. Dementia let DeSalvo uncover an extraordinarily resilient spirit in her father. Through her work, she aims to expose the value and content—whether joyful or haunting—of one’s inner life toward the end of life.


DeSalvo received her BFA in Visual Design from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. She has been featured in Juniper Rag and Artscope magazines. Her work has been shown in numerous galleries and museums throughout New England and is a part of collections across the US and Europe. In 2021 DeSalvo was one of eight artists selected from over 60 applicants to be featured in the Attleboro Arts Museum’s annual juried exhibition "8 Visions." In 2022 her three-person show, “Into the Ether” was the winning proposal invited to exhibit at Nearby Gallery in Newton, MA. She lives and works out of her studio in Arlington, MA.

Work for sale

A selection of work is available for purchase through 1st Dibs. All work on 1st Dibs is represented by Fountain Street Gallery. 

A small selection of work is on display and for sale at Nearby Gallery, 101 Union St., Newton, MA.