Rodney Jackson
By Brigitte Andrade.
November 15th, 2017
 
 
R. Jackson is a visual artist, award-winning illustrator, and art director. In 1990, Jackson graduated from NWSA as a Young Arts level one winner and Presidential Scholar Nominee and went on to attend Maryland Institute College of Art on a full merit scholarship as a Fanny B. Thailheimer scholar. In 2009 Jackson returned to Young Arts as a master artist and still serves as mentor and judge for their annual national student art competition.  In 2010 he was the winner of The Best of Show, for the work he designed and built, a robot entitled The Guardian that is created out of recycled vinyl records and album covers for the Ft. Myers Turn, Turn, Turn Exhibition. The 17-foot structure, was also selected to be featured in the same exhibit at the Fort Myers International Airport. In 2012 Jackson began as an art instructor for Ocean Reef Art. In 2014 his self-published book project, Rocko’s Big Launch won 1st place for Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards and is now part of The Pérez Art Museum’s permanent collection. Jackson’s visual work is also in the permanent collections of the Miami-Dade Public Library System and the Basel Switzerland design firm 9.6 Conceptional Worlds. Jackson’s Obama Portrait completed in 2008, was acquired by The David C. Driskell Center Permanent Collection at University of Maryland, College Park in 2016. Jackson is currently illustrating a graphic novel that chronicles the legacy of R&B legend Sam Moore.

Featured Artist

GIOVANNI DECUNTO

By Brigitte Andrade

Nov 1, 2017

 

Driven to paint, Giovanni DeCunto knew at the young age of seven 

that he would be an artist-an artist of such strength and talent that 

the world would know him. All of his life, he has been creating paint- 

ings themed around individualism and freedom while displaying the 

greatness of man. This artist’s interests lie with history and redefining 

historical movements. In his mid-twenties, Giovanni’s art became 

a part of the permanent collections at the Smithsonian, Harvard 

University’s Fogg Museum, the MIT Historical Collection, and the 

Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He came to the attention of the White 

House curator at the time, Rex Scouten, as well as then President 

George Bush, and contributed paintings to Barbara Bush for her 

literacy campaign. 

  

A turbulent childhood, set in the tough streets of Lawrence and 

 resembling a chapter out of Oliver Twist, did not interfere with 

Giovanni’s ambitions. Living on his own in an abandoned building 

during his teen years, attending school, and working a full-time, 

night-shift factory job,  Giovanni’s grit and determination enabled 

him to graduate from high school and pursue his dream of attending 

art school. He was first accepted to Vesper George Art School, but 

soon realized a more sophisticated level of training was needed and 

was accepted to the Art Institute of Boston. To support himself he 

worked day and night to produce paintings, which he sold in order 

to survive. After a year, Giovanni left the Institute and set up his own 

studio on Boylston Street, marketing his paintings and fine-tuning 

 his techniques. 

 

In 1984 he was offered a full four-year scholarship 

to Boston University’s School of Fine and Applied Arts. After com- 

pleting BU and turning down Oxford, he accepted an International 

Fellowship for Renaissance Study at the University of Padua in Italy, 

a mecca for the Classics masters. He began to receive significant 

recognition during this time. 

 

By the early 90’s, Giovanni’s robust mode of expression attempted 

to redefine classical genre by merging impressionism, expression- 

ism and other significant movements.  When commissioned by the 

GOP in 1992 to create a centerpiece entitled “The Spirit of America” 

for the Republican National Convention, he had already established 

a relationship with Rex Scouten, Curator of the White House, who  

introduced him to Very Special Arts in Washington, DC. Giovanni was 

among six artists chosen for the two-year world tour, “An American 

Collection.” This tour brought his paintings into permanent collec- 

tions such as The University of Kentucky, The Reusch Collection in 

Zurich, Switzerland, and The Monarch Club. In 1997, he exhibited at 

the EUNO Royal Museum in Japan commensurate with a retrospec- 

tive of Jackson Pollack and Robert Maplethorpe. 

The physical and emotional reaction to Giovanni DeCunto’s work is 

as powerful as the work itself - vibrant, intense and in all cases, 

compelling, His paintings are a canvas where chaos and order col- 

lide. His style resonates with a unique quality; his discipline is that of 

a classical painter, yet contemporary elements are clearly evident. 

He applies paint directly from the tube to the canvas, reversing the 

traditional methods to create provocative imagery. His collection of 

paintings depict individuals and political-historical events that have 

influenced and contributed to shaping cultures around the world. 

 

A voyeur of the current culture, Giovanni began painting icons in the 

late 90’s such as Gianni Versace, Michael Jordan, Robert DeNiro, 

Frank Sinatra, JFK Jr. and others. Prominent collectors continue to 

procure his work and establish his reputation: Reebok World Head- 

quarters, Children’s Hospital Boston, Scutter, Clark and Stevens and 

Ropes and Grey are among this discerning group. Giovanni’s work 

was recently featured on a  two-hour, prime-time “Survivor” CBS 

special, with the cameras rolling in to capture the artist in his stu- 

dio where he created the painting “Sweet Victory,” an inspirational 

piece of the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series. The piece 

was bought by one of the stars of the show and presented to her  

fiancée in front of millions of viewers. Altitudes Magazine, the exclusive  

Parisian-based publication, recently printed an interview with  

Giovanni and is the first time the magazine has highlighted an individual 

artist. In the article, Herve Chandes, Director of the Cartier Foundation,  

elegantly articulates his impression of Giovanni DeCunto, the artist: 

“His work is stunning, both in its critical dimension towards contem- 

porary society as well as in the aesthetics he develops.” 

 

 

www.giovannidecunto.com

Angelo Martinez
By Brigitte Andrade.
November 15th, 2017
 
Angelo Martinez is a graphic artist specializing in fine art, illustrations & storyboards. He got his start studying at a small college in Upstate New York. Although his first love was baseball and he did tryouts for the New York Yankees, Mets & Cincinnati Reds, a top storyboard company saw one frame he drew for a class project and after the class offered him a job as an intern. From there he took an artist position at Young and Rubicam working on mini storyboards comps and animatic for the Miller campaign, Joe Camel and many automobile accounts. After he went to work with one of the top artist agency The Famous Gem Studio, where he honed his skills further and got to work alongside with one of his idols The Legendary Ken Bald, who drew Captain America and other Marvel characters and was famous for drawing The Dark Shadows vampire comic art novel. Angelo was recently honored by the Mayor & City of Hackensack, NJ; during Hispanic Heritage month for his sports illustrations. He is currently working on several major illustration projects, including the Sam Moore graphic novel.