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Damian Salo is an accomplished author and entrepreneur, residing in New York City. His parents raised him in the City of Bedford, a small suburb, east of Cleveland, Ohio. Damian accredits his mother with helping him establish a strong, spiritual and moral compass, while his father taught him to have a disciplined work ethic, and to be a resourceful and knowledgeable, jack of many trades. This can clearly be seen throughout his novels and artistic endeavors.
Having attended Bedford High School, Damian found himself immersed in art, architecture and history, and also dabbling around with music after school. He still has a copy of his Career Test, which establishes what professions a student would excel in after graduation. The results of this test showed that Damian would excel at both art and finance. A career in art would be fun, but one in finance was more logical for a teenager having grown up in a blue-collar family.
And so it was decided upon graduation that Damian would attend Kent State University, to earn his Bachelor of Arts in both Accounting and Finance. With a field of study so alien to him, Damian turned to music as an outlet rather than being an artist. He formed two bands, Not Another Mike and the Drowning Non-Swimmers, which played locally in the City of Kent at establishments such as The Robin Hood and Mugs.
Aside from music his second passion was his newfound friends. Never did he think he would meet so many people from all across the globe with different viewpoints and religious beliefs. Damian called this group the United Nations for truly they were. The one commonality that they all shared was love—love for one another, no matter what they believed or where they came from. This became a major premise when developing his novel.
After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Kent State University in 2002, Damian spent the next year living at home in seclusion from the world he had grown to love, working as an intern at a regional bank. During this period he spent much of time writing in his journal and hanging out at Mentor Headlands and University Circle, more specifically, Arabica Coffee House and the Cleveland Art Museum. It was through this aloneness Damian wrote his first solo album titled, Inertia—14 songs that touched upon his angst and frustration with himself and his direction in life. The songs included largely acoustic guitar, harmonica and his raspy voice!
It was also during this period that the idea of writing a novel came to fruition. With his friends having returned to their native countries, and unable to fully express their experiences through music, Damian decided to devise a fantasy novel that would keep his friends and their experiences alive through storytelling, and to share their collective belief in love and their frustration with those that seek to destroy the goodness of this world through fear.
Upon completing his internship at the bank, Damian relocated to Pittsburgh, PA and while spending his days writing in Bloomfield and hanging at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Damian met a clairvoyant Greek Orthodox monk who told him that what he is searching for is not in Pittsburgh, rather New York City. It was not long after that Damian started receiving calls from major financial institutions in Manhattan. Two months later, Damian moved to Bushwick in Brooklyn, NY, to begin his career in corporate finance.
After several months of adjusting to city life, Damian dove back into his artistic endeavors. He started working on his second album, titled, Gypsy Rock—8 acoustic songs that touched upon family, ancestry, and their connection to New York via Ellis Island. At the same time his novel began taking shape and the basis of his storyline was formed; however, the direction of the first draft fell short of his expectations and it was eventually scrapped.
For months, Damian was devastated. He did not know how best to tackle the story he envisioned, and then an idea came—he needed a name for his book, something powerful that would explain the very essence of his story. Names were thrown back and forth amongst friends and family, but in the end, Damian stuck with the one and only title that struck a chord with him—The Age of Lost Innocence.
With the title now giving his novel a clear scope and direction, Damian started re-writing the novel from scratch, spending every evening locked up in his room beneath the loud subway tracks. Within a year he completed the first half of his novel, though he was not happy with the slow pace at which it was taking, and at the same time he was compromising his ability to make music.
In the summer of 2005, Damian was invited to play at the European House of Arts art festival in Normandy, France. There he reconnected with a whole host of artists and musicians from all across Europe. His concerts came with much fanfare—the only American invited to play at an all, European event. The experience was magical! This is what he always dreamt of… but was it really? On his return flight from Paris, Damian knew a decision had to be made before he landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport—he could only pursue one artistic path. It had to be either writing or music. No longer could Damian do both, he needed to focus on one craft and become an expert at it. Walking off the tarmac with his guitar he accepted that the concerts in France were his last.
Through patience and perseverance, Damian completed the first draft of his novel in Spring of 2007. With the novel completed, Damian decided to take a break from the corporate world and go backpacking across South America with a childhood friend over the summer months. It was through this experience that Damian’s perspective on life had completely changed and transformed him—compelling him to continue his story beyond the first novel by making it a series.
Upon his return, Damyen spent the next several years finalizing the edits with his editor, and having his best friend, Lee Vasu, illustrate each chapter. The novel, The Theory of Balance, was finally published in 2010, completing a body of work that boasts almost 600 pages and over 70 illustrations.
The completion of the novel came at a time at which, Lee Vasu proposed that Damian should join him in taking on a completely new endeavor. In September 2010, Dacia Gallery was founded—a contemporary art gallery in Lower East Side, which represents emerging and established artists worldwide. Over the next several years, Dacia Gallery emerged out of over 400 NYC art galleries to become one of only three galleries that focus specifically on figurative art. Dacia Gallery has exhibited some of the most well-respected artists in this genre, such as: Nelson Shanks, Max Ginsburg, Patricia Watwood, David Kassan, Adam Miller, Steven Early and Christopher Pugliese (to name a few).
Aside from gallery exhibitions, Damian and Lee have hosted their own art fairs in Soho and Times Square, which included over 50 artists and drawing in several thousand visitors. In 2013, Dacia Gallery hosted three art exhibitions over the summer in Toures—France, Erfurt—Germany and Sibiu—Romania. Dacia Gallery also hosts artist residencies in the region of Transylvania, Romania and in Chelsea, New York. The gallery continues its focus in both art and arts education, with articles found in all major arts magazines and newspapers.
In 2012, after a two-year hiatus, Damian returned to working on book two of The Age of Lost Innocence series. The second novel, Blood Moon Sacrifice, follows the lives of the same three, main characters in book one but takes on a more sinister twist. The first draft of the novel was completed in 2014, with a planned release date in 2017.