Monday, December 30, 2013

Portfolio: Vincent Giarrano (b.1960) Part 1

Connecticut artist Vincent Giarrano derives most of his inspiration from a small, six square-mile area of America's east coast (some could argue that it really centers on ⅟₁₀ᵗʰ of a square-mile), but his regular collectors hail from regions from all across America, and as far away as Europe.  This past year, demand for his paintings was so great, that if you followed him on social media – which I do – you would have noticed that almost every week a new show was announced somewhere in the world in which Giarrano was invited to participate.  Whether it is the allure of New York City in Giarrano's pictures that attracts his adherents, or it is Giarrano's ability to relate to his viewers the mundane and introspective moments of everyday life, 2013 was a busy and successful year for this contemporary, representational artist.

Vincent Giarrano was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1960, and from an early age, showed a great deal of interest in art.  He did not take his first formal training until age 17, however, but by the following year, he was enrolled at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he earned his Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree in sculpture, four years later.  Immediately after graduating from SUNY Buffalo, Giarrano enrolled in Syracuse University's Master Degree program, graduating with that prestigious diploma in 1985.  With those degrees in hand, it could have easily been supposed that this native New Yorker would have remained Upstate to search out a university professorship, but he instead traveled down to New York City to pursue a career as a commercial artist.

That a fine artist like Giarrano began his professional life as an illustrator is not unusual, though what sets his path apart from that taken by most of his contemporaries is that Giarrano chose to cut his teeth in the difficult profession of being a comic book artist (Everett Raymond Kinstler being one of a few others who took the same journey).  Earning jobs at such big publishers as Marvel and DC Comics, as well as at award-winning imprint companies such as Dark Horse Comics, Giarrano penciled, inked, and sometimes even wrote, for famous characters like Batman, Aquaman, Spider-Man, Green Lantern, Lobo, and Ghost Rider.  But after two decades in the comics industry, Giarrano felt it was time for a change, so he moved from New York City to Connecticut and turned his artistic focus toward gallery art instead.

Since his move a decade ago, Giarrano has enjoyed much success and recognition in the art world.  His  paintings, especially those of Manhattan's trendy SoHo District, are extremely popular, as are his pictures of solitary and solemn women going about their daily routines.  But it his ability to infuse the everyday with a subtle sense of narrative – a skill which has earned him favorable comparisons to cinematographers from Fellini to Hitchcock – which has probably made him so sought-after as an artist.  By being able to tap into the contemporary psyche of the average "man on the street," Giarrano's paintings are able to transcend the geographic boundaries of New York City, and touch collectors everywhere.

Vincent Giarrano's work can be seen at Gallery Henoch in New York City;  Susan Powell Fine Art, Madison, Connecticut;  Haynes Galleries, Nashville, Tennessee;  Waterhouse Gallery, Santa Barbara, California; Thompson's Galleries, London, England; and L'Oeil du Prince Galerie, Paris, France.  His painting, City Girl, is also currently on view at the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where it was one of forty-eight works chosen for the 2013 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.


Jason de Graaf said...

Quite the oeuvre!

innisart said...

Jason- He's really prolific. I had to break the posts down to separate his works into categories. I ended up leaving many images out!

Carol Blackburn said...

This is the most interesting and inspiring blog I've found anywhere (and I'm a blogger and artist). His work speaks so loudly to me because he has captured the essence of exactly how I would love to paint. Thanks!

Shaun Stipick said...

I know I am late to comment on this, but man-o-man how did I miss this guy! I really need to get back on the social media track. Thanks for posting!