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Ceravolo (1953–)

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30 Years of Illusion Paintings

For more than thirty years, the trend-setting style of Ceravolo’s large-scale, provocative paintings has received international acclaim.

Born in New York, Ceravolo was introduced to drawing at an early age, but it was not until college that he first experimented with painting. For this reason, New York art critic Malcolm Preston has called him a “post adolescent prodigy.”

His paintings came to popular attention when he was commissioned to create six large-scale portraits for the lobby of The Palladium Theatre, in New York City. In an interview, New York concert producer Ron Delsener said that “When a musical artist of tremendous stature plays the Palladium Theatre, we commission Ceravolo to paint their portrait for the lobby of the theatre to honor and commemorate their performance.” In addition to these, Ceravolo’s paintings are in many influential corporate and private collections, including: Elton John, Rod Stewart, Hugh Hefner, David Brenner, Monique Van Vooren, Warner Brothers and RCA Records to name a few.

From the start, Ceravolo has captivated audiences with the unique and visual excitement of his art. His ability to so skillfully capture the physical, as well as the inner qualities of his subjects, and to create excitement and depth with the addition of his “floating” Illusions to the paintings, blend into a combination of abstract and realistic work filled with color and texture.

Ceravolo says that he has always been interested in the interaction of monochromatic realistic images in combination with abstract shapes and colors within the same work of art. The realistic image is always combined with three dimensional abstract elements to give the work of art that unmistakable look of a Ceravolo creation, which has been his trademark. Ceravolo says, “I wanted to add color to the realistic gray images, but not like Andy [Warhol], in that they related to the figure with colored lips or eyes. I wanted the color shapes not to relate to the realistic figure at all, and in doing so it would complement the figure, and by adding the three dimensional look it separated the surface into several—none relating—layers that work as one unified piece.”