About the Artist (in his words):
"During the summer of 1993, while living in Westchester County, New York, an unfortunate accident ended my very successful career as a viola virtuoso. However, I was saved from almost certain devastation by the good fortune of having a parallel talent and vocation. Throughout the years of my long career as a professional musician, I simultaneously painted professionally showing in various galleries throughout the US and Europe, selling many paintings to musicians, music lovers, and collectors.
As a child, I was fortunate enough to study both music and art because my father, a violinist and painter, insisted that I be well rounded in the arts. Growing up in New York City gave me ample opportunity to explore and study art at some of the top institutions in the country including the Art Students League and The Brooklyn Museum. After my stint in the Navy during WWII, I had the good fortune to study art for two years on the GI Bill at the Academia de Belle Arte in Florence, Italy with well-known artists Primo Conte and Giovanni Colachicci.
Although I concentrated on painting mainly landscapes and portraits, which I did by commission in Italy during the beginning of my career in the 50's, I won an international prize in Rome for my painting Abstract Violin, which now hangs in the Bordeghera Museum of Art.
This prize portended my life's work when, shortly after my arrival back in the States, I realized that I had found my niche in art. I was thrown into painting my musicians when a very well-known jazz saxophonist, Don Hammond, saw my work and commissioned a painting of a flute, which he also played, in whatever style I chose. This was a very new venture for me, but it soon led to many other commissions from many of the musicians that I worked with at the time.
I continue to be inspired and passionate about portraying musicians in concert and rehearsal, and as an abstract figurative artist, I like to say I paint about musicians.
Having been a musician all my life, it was only natural that I possessed a thorough knowledge of music along with a deep passion and sentiment for my chosen field. And, because of my close contact with musicians as an intimate colleague for so many years, it feels like second nature for me to visualize the position, faces, body language, and every nuance of the player, no matter what instrument or ensemble I endeavor to portray. One of my goals is to try and capture the emotion and spirituality that is always present at a concert. Because of this, my musicians usually have their eyes closed or are looking down signifying the concentration that is necessary in a performance. Portraying a performer's deep involvement in music remains one of my biggest challenges, one that I constantly strive for in my work.
Painting is also a spiritual experience for me and often when I work, I go into another dimension or space without having any idea of how this occurs. When it does, everything seems to flow very naturally and falls into place without use of the intellect. This can go on for many hours at a stretch, and it's as if time, as we think of it, no longer exists. When I come out of this zone, a finished painting is on the easel and the palette is often a large gray mess. Sometimes I don't even remember painting a work and often find it very difficult to analyze the creation before me!
I love painting my musicians, and it is my hope is that through the use of color and design, I can allow the viewer a glimpse and a greater understanding of the world of the musician."