Painting Moments: Art, AIDS and Nick Palazzo


150 pages
ISBN 1-55071-067-2
DDC 759.11





Edited by Mary Melfi
Illustrations by Nick Palazzo

M. Wayne Cunningham is a past executive director of the Saskatchewan
Arts Board and the former director of Academic and Career Programs at
East Kootenay Community College.


The four sections into which this book is divided present four distinct
views of the life and times of Montreal visual artist Nick Palazzo. The
first section, entitled “Me, Disappearing,” is a collection of
excerpts from the artist’s notebooks (1983–99) that describe the
particulars of his battle with AIDS and various homosexual encounters
(both his own and those of others), and present his often bittersweet
and ironic observations about the world around him. What emerges in this
section is a fascinating portrait of a relatively unknown artist who
produced more than 2000 paintings before succumbing to AIDS at the age
of 29.

The second section gives us “an intimate look at the artist”
through emotionally charged taped interviews with his sister, an aunt
and uncle, and five of his friends and associates. In the third section,
12 academics and critics provide “expressionistic visions” of
Palazzo’s work. Their insightful comments are substantiated by
references to the 16 full-color reproductions that appear in the same

The final section, “A World of Painting,” offers an intriguing
biographical counterpoint to the initial autobiographical notations.
Included in this section is a press release about Palazzo’s May 1984
exhibition, “Andre” (dedicated to the lover who predeceased him); a
list of titles for another 1984 exhibition, “A World of Painting”; a
chronology of Palazzo’s life; a postscript by the editor and notes on
the contributors; and a list of the artist’s illustrations that appear
in the book and on the covers.

Painting Moments is a sensitive, accessible, and well-edited portrait
of a young artist cut down in the prime of his creativity.


“Painting Moments: Art, AIDS and Nick Palazzo,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 16, 2024,