PAUL FORTUNATO

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All works copyright Paul Fortunato 2013

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THE FLOSSER (Revisited) 2005 - 2013 oil and acrylic on canvas 57 x 57

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 Everything I have ever done is grounded in drawing.  I consider my 2013 work to be my creative breakthrough moment, the culmination of a lifetime of quiet research and development.   I have maintained cruising altitude ever since and as of May 2014 I have 26 paintings in progress, 11 of them large scale. 
  I was born with the natural gift to draw.  As a child I taught myself, or I should say, "discovered" linear perspective when I would take my parent's cheesy travel books from Italy and start tracing diagonals with a ruler over photos of buildings to find those magical vanishing points.  Another source of fascination was the ellipse and it's unique set of properties.  So you can say I have been an artist my whole life.  I have been drawing and painting as a fine artist since 1984, pretty much off the radar of the art world.  
 In the 2013  series I have found the right balance of line weight, color, composition, scale, message and subject.  The sources of inspiration are wide ranging:  evolution, predation in nature, Ray Harryhausen, extinction, my cats, the Asian girl, the love of the Asian girl, my victory over depression and brush with suicide, my razor sharp wit, and good old fashioned light and shadow. 
  Part of the reason for my Cambrian blowout in 2013 is my recovery from 10+ years of using  anti-depressants which were prescribed to "treat" me but actually drove me to the brink of suicide.  After dumping the MD and going cold turkey on the shit since 2012, I am now the happiest man alive.  
  I have fallen in love with acrylic paints, especially fluid acrylics, after using oils for many years.  Occasionally I take old "finished" paintings, some 8 years old, like the one above, off  the storage rack and mess with them.  This has been a lot of fun and the final result is often unexpected.  It can take a decade or more for me to actually resolve a piece, and letting it sit "fallow" is part of that process.   There are no more old paintings left to mess with so from now on it's all fresh canvas.  
  Ray Harryhausen has always been the man for me, and I've been drawing his Cyclops from "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" (among other creatures from his other films) since I was old enough to draw representationally.  Willis O'Brien is right in there as well. 
  The studio that I have had since 2011 has been my game changer, and another reason for this explosively creative time in my career.  Housed in a former opera house built in 1865, the studio is almost 2000 square feet with 23 foot ceilings and 6 south east windows going almost floor to ceiling.  It has given me the freedom to work on 30 large paintings at once in a maze-like arrangement of movable walls.  This best suits my creative process and is the way I have wanted to work my whole life.   When I run out of wall space I start using the floor, a new liberating surface,  where gravity is now my friend. 
  IT IS GOOD TO BE ALIVE AGAIN.


 
Taking My Meds  oil on canvas  73 X 78 inches
 
 

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