Q&A with Artist Vincent Giarrano

In late March, I introduced you to painter Vincent Giarrano, as he worked on his one-man show, which centered around affluent women embracing the luxury lifestyle on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. I was thrilled to serve the role as one of his muses for the project, and shared some photos from the day we spent together inside the Oak Room, Pucci, Erwin Pearl, The Carlyle Hotel and its Tea Room, and various Madison Avenue storefronts.

Today we are going one step deeper and delving inside Giarrano’s creative mind for a special Q&A.

Haute Living: When did you first become attracted to the arts, and what was the motivation to hone that craft?

Vincent Giarrano: I started drawing at a young age, teaching myself by studying other artists. I also enjoyed drawing from fashion. I loved the combination of figure and draping fabric as well as the creative designs. I received a masters degree in art but chose to pursue illustration as a career. About 10 years ago I transitioned back to fine art and it felt great, like I found the thing I was always meant to do.

HL: Tell us more about the inspiration for your one-man show at Susan Powell Fine Art in Madison, Conn. in May.

VG: The show is a new series of paintings about women in New York City. I see women as a classic subject and for this work I sought to present an interplay between classic and contemporary elements. Another aspect of my work is capturing unguarded moments of real life; there’s a beauty there and people are truly themselves. When people ask what inspires me, I say “the people and life I see around me.” For me, painting is a celebration of life and it never ceases to amaze me.

HL: From the artist’s perspective, what is your take on the day we spent together, using the luxury locales of Manhattan as the scenes for the different shots?

VG: It worked perfectly for some of the paintings I wanted in this show. I was looking for moments in the life of a woman with a luxurious lifestyle. You were a terrific subject and I could tell that you were in your element in the fine hotels and designer shops that we spent time in. I love the oil sketch of you in the Carlyle dining room—in that fur hat, you look as exotic as the surroundings. I’m also very happy with my painting of you at the Emilio Pucci boutique. Blue hues and cool colors are one of my favorite things to have in my work. The dresses and interior were perfect for capturing the mood I wanted in this piece.

These paintings also lead into a new series of work I’ve started that centers on the fashion world of New York. I’m very excited about exploring this new subject and reconnecting with its ties to my early years.

HL: Describe your work overall for the readers.

VG: As a representational painter, my work is focused on creating a realistic image, but equally important for me is having qualities of realism in my concept. What I love is painting subjects that relate to real life experiences, whether it’s a still life, figure, or cityscape, I want my paintings to resonate as sincere and true moments of life. Capturing the quality of light in a scene is another major element for my work, more than detail, I feel it’s what creates a more believable impression and triggers a feeling of reality for the viewer. I favor cool even light, especially the way it enhances the mood I desire in my paintings. I tend to work in series. When I choose a subject that interests me, I like to explore it thoroughly and develop it to its full potential. I find collectors respond well to this.