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ABOUT ME

Stephen DiCillo is an artist living and working in New York City.

Stephen DiCillo, the grandson of Italian immigrants, was born in 1952 in Quantico, Virginia, where his father, a Marine Corps officer, was based. DiCillo’s childhood was transient, with moves every two years following his father’s assignments, including stations in Carlsbad, California, and Bangkok, Thailand, on the eve of the Vietnam War.

DiCillo received his BFA in Fine Art from The University of Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va. In 1974, upon graduation and with a grant from the Virginia Museum DiCillo moved to New York City to expand his artistic horizons.

While continuing his artwork DiCillo became a member of the Off Broadway theatre company, The New York Arts Institute with Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Larry Rivers, and Kenneth Koch on the board of Trustees. Director Donald Sanders was especially interested and devoted to presenting books in their entirety on stage. DiCillo performed in Naked Lunch by William Burroughs ,Torrents of Spring by Ivan Turgenev,and The Party by Kenneth Koch. Upon leaving the Arts Institute, DiCillo devoted the next five years to perfecting his decorative painting skills while working with designer John Saladino and other top New York designers. It is during this time that DiCillo started a spiritual and introspective quest that prepared him to fully devote himself to his art. In 2001 DiCillo, evading Tribeca’s gentrification, settled in Gowanus, Brooklyn. In the past 15 years DiCillo has worked relentlessly reexamining what painting meant to him, with a decisive turn towards pure abstraction in 2007.

DiCillo’s paintings are concerned with time, space, and movement, that present to the viewer the illogicality of an existing now, that has a past that will soon be future. An invented system incorporating accident bestow the paintings with a further sense of unpredictability.

His artwork presented in shows has generated positive critical reviews from The New YorkerArt in America, Time Out, and Review magazine. His paintings have sold internationally, most recently to the noted artist Jonathan Lasker.

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BIOGRAPHY

Past exhibitions:

Before I list my past exhibitions, I feel the need to clarify my views, opinions, and beliefs regarding merchandising and promoting my work, from my college days until now.  I was trained by several young Yale graduate students brought down to my university in 1970 to teach. These students were still operating on the idealistic principals set down by the Abstract Expressionists.  It was instilled in us that the Abstract Expressionists for the most part went twenty-six years in the underground working with great sacrifice, without showing and recognition while Paris remained the Art center of the World. Willem de Kooning did not have his first show until he was fifty-four years of age. Most of the New York Art world snubbed them never believing that in the future these dedicated artists work would remove from Paris its title of art center of the world and transfer that title to New York. I have identified and still do with many of their beliefs for most of my creative exploration while in and outside of New York.  

When I showed it was from recommendations from my fellow artists. I was surprised that for the most part I received positive reviews. Art in America, The New Yorker, Time out, Review Magazine gave favorable reviews of my work. I was also blessed with meeting some influential and dedicated artists, critics and curators that helped my creative investigation immeasurably. As I mentioned in the expertise section these individuals were; Allan Jones, Jonathan Lasker, Barry Schwabsky, Jay Murphy and Ted Mooney.  However, I never felt inclined to push my work after these shows even though I was aware that this was the moment that all artists should seize to get their work out there. There were two main reasons that always seemed to keep me from “working my career”. One was my training that I mentioned above, the second was that I just didn’t believe my work was developed and ready to be shown.

At this point I feel that my work, the fundamentals that I have worked on and discovered are allowing for it to be seen. This confidence in the readiness and timing of my work to be seen is why I have downloaded my art info on ARTMO’s site.   

Education: Old Dominion University 1970-1975

 

Grants

1975         Virginia Museum Scholarship and Old Dominion University Scholarship

 

Selected Exhibitions

2009         Group show curated by Karen Dorothy Peters, Alp Galleries, New York, NY.

2002         Group show curated by painter Jonathan Lasker, Eugene Binder Gallery, New York, NY.

2001         Group show curated by Wolf-Dieter Stoffelmeier, Universal Concepts Unlimited Gallery, New York, NY. Reviewed in Time Out magazine.

1999       “Modular Composite” group show, Central Fine Arts, New York, NY: Michael Rees, Petra Maitz, Nui Bo, Stephen DiCillo.

1998        Solo show, Central Fine Arts, New York, NY. Reviewed in Review magazine by Robert Morgan and J. Bowyer Bell.

1998        Two person show, The Clementine Gallery, New York, NY.

1994        Drop Dead painting show, curated by John Ford,  75 Reade St. Space, New York, NY.

1993        Habitations, curated by Birgit Spears, Inter Art Center Group Show, New York, NY.

1991        Two person show, Marilyn Pearl Gallery, New York, NY. Reviewed in Art in America by Robert Mahoney and recommended in The New Yorker.

 

 

 

TECHNIQUE

In order to explain describe and illuminate my current technique it is essential that I go back to the its birth in the 1990’s.

Up until the 1900’s I was frustratingly still using the techniques that I had been taught in University, and there seemed no freedom from my plight in sight. One day I chanced upon a book on the streets of New York near me in Tribeca illustrating and recounting how almost all the New York School artists from the mid 1940’s to Jasper Johns had transformed their taught techniques into something new from skills learned in their “day” jobs.  An example would be Robert Rosenquist’s technique learned from billboard painting. He went on to use this style in his own painting.  I was astounded by this discovery. From the early 1980’s I had been making my own living by doing high end decorative painting that involved old world techniques such as stencils, glazing, murals and faux finishes. Within a year I dropped my taught way of painting and started using my learned day job techniques. To view a showcase of my interior work please refer to www.stephendicillointeriors.com

I suddenly started questioning everything I had been doing in relation to my work. So instead of painting a still life from a table I made my still-life first. I made American miniature furniture pieces from the 1770’s, very simple and archetypal. (See image 1.) I then took many shots of the image with a polaroid camera without the flash and through the beginning of my incorporating the “accident” I picked the best one out of a hundred. Then instead of painting the painting by hand I started using stencils as a veil to depict the image picked. (See image 2) 

After ten years of painting this way I began to realize that my painting wanted somehow to be more abstract and I slowly began to use the computer through a mathematical process to produce an image that was faux, yet real painting that had a deeper transcendental presence than the earlier painting. Again, I was picking one image from a hundred accidents, but this time like a film reel the image still is carrying the ghosts from the past images and yet also indicating that there is a future image to come.

The technique now involves arriving at an image from the computer, then working it out in the studio how that image is to be executed. The image and its shapes are transformed unto a large blueprint of lines and traced onto a large sheet of masking tape that has been adhered to the surface that I am painting on. I than cut out the shapes that will receive paint. This process is repeated until I have done all the layers required to have the desired and approved image. (Image 3)  When this part of the painting is done I than spray many coats of lacquer onto the surface sanding in between coats until a very smooth glassy finish results. Besides the beauty of the lacquer, the manual process is hidden and a mystery results by not giving the viewer everything. (Example image 4)

Currently I am moving back to painting physically, (sample 5)  The new work has been developed with the desire to marry the shapes and the physicality of the paint into, hopefully  a new type of dialogue between those shapes and the paint that defines them.  

Artist TECHNIQUE Image 1
Artist TECHNIQUE Image 2
Artist TECHNIQUE Image 3
Artist TECHNIQUE Image 4
Artist TECHNIQUE Image 5
EXPERTISE

From the years 1991 through 1997 Allan Jones and the Artist Jonathan Lasker were two influential people in the “art world” that strongly supported and promoted my work

Allen Jones: Author of the Art Dealers, critic and curator of art in the 1980’s and 1990’s.  I was blessed with a very personal, real, and honest critical dialogue regarding the growth and exploration of my work with Allan in the 1990’s. He provided great insights into the work, and for several years, he recommended Paul Kasmin of the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York to include me in the gallery’ stable. He quantified the work as “dynamic, original, new and very relevant for the times.”

Jonathan Lasker: Influential and respected artist over the last forty years.  Jonathan Lasker ardently supported the work of the 1990’s he also affirmed that I had discovered something new and original and introduced me to a number of relevant galleries and critics of the time. Three of my paintings and six drawings were purchased by Jonathan Lasker in the 1990’s. Included in 2002 group show To Be a Mirror: Portraits by Six Painters curated by Jonathan Lasker. Jonathan’s review of my work can be viewed upon request.

Birget Spears:  In 1991 Birget Spears Director of the Marilyn Pearl Gallery on 625 West Broadway, put me in a two person show with fellow artist Nancy Davidson. The show received very positive reviews in “Shows to see” in the New Yorker and reviewed by Robert Mahoney in Art in America.

Robert C. Morgan: Positive review on One person show in Review Magazine 1998 on Solo show Central Fine Arts Gallery NYC Green Street. Review can be furnished upon request.

  1. Bowyer Bell: Positive review on One person show in review Magazine 1998 on Solo show Central Fine Arts Gallery NYC Green Street. Review can be furnished upon request.

 Architectural Digest ran an article with photos of my faux and decorative paintings. Showcasing how the relationship between my artisan work and how it has fed the exploration of my Art.  Article can be viewed in www.stephendicillointeriors .com

Vanity Fair:  Showcased pictures of my work done for Designer John Saladino in his personal residence.  Article can be viewed in www.stephendicillointeriors .com

Highly respected Designers, clients, and Architects, whom I worked for include, John Saladino, Diane Von Furstenberg, Mark Hampton, Jean Paul Beaujard, Les Wexner, Rothchild, Ashton Hawkins (Secretary of the Metropolitan Museum of Art), Randy Rackson, Architects Lee Polmeroy on the Plaza Hotel in New York City and Jeffery Cole on the Rackson Residence. Diane Von Furstenberg’s residence at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City.  Raymond Brant:  Head designer for Bloomingdales. E.T Waterhouse’s residence on Lake George New York.

Starting from the year 2005 I began working in an abstract mode. This new departure grew out of my earlier commitment to Abstract representationalism that I had adhered to since college. One of my mentors of that style of work was Edward Hopper.

I owe a great dept and gratitude to the following people who had and expressed faith and encouragement in my new departure into the “Abstract world”.

Wolfe Stoffelmier Deiter: Art Director of the Central Fine Arts Gallery, and owner of the UCU gallery in Chelsea New York. Working together for over ten years his insights and great support of the work was invaluable.

Jay Murphy:  Curator, Critic and author of Artaud’s Metamorphosis from Hieroglyphs to Bodies without Organs. Working together for over eight years in an intense critical dialogue of my work similar to those shared by the abstract painters of the 1950”s.

Barry Shwabsky:  Curator, Critic and head critic for the Nation. Barry took over the job held by Clement Greenburg.

Ted Mahony:  Curator, Author, Critic for Art in America

AWARDS
PAST EXHIBITIONS

Past exhibitions:

Before I list my past exhibitions, I feel the need to clarify my views, opinions, and beliefs regarding merchandising and promoting my work, from my college days until now.  I was trained by several young Yale graduate students brought down to my university in 1970 to teach. These students were still operating on the idealistic principals set down by the Abstract Expressionists.  It was instilled in us that the Abstract Expressionists for the most part went twenty-six years in the underground working with great sacrifice, without showing and recognition while Paris remained the Art center of the World. Willem de Kooning did not have his first show until he was fifty-four years of age. Most of the New York Art world snubbed them never believing that in the future these dedicated artists work would remove from Paris its title of art center of the world and transfer that title to New York. I have identified and still do with many of their beliefs for most of my creative exploration while in and outside of New York.  

When I showed it was from recommendations from my fellow artists. I was surprised that for the most part I received positive reviews. Art in America, The New Yorker, Time out, Review Magazine gave favorable reviews of my work. I was also blessed with meeting some influential and dedicated artists, critics and curators that helped my creative investigation immeasurably. As I mentioned in the expertise section these individuals were; Allan Jones, Jonathan Lasker, Barry Schwabsky, Jay Murphy and Ted Mooney.  However, I never felt inclined to push my work after these shows even though I was aware that this was the moment that all artists should seize to get their work out there. There were two main reasons that always seemed to keep me from “working my career”. One was my training that I mentioned above, the second was that I just didn’t believe my work was developed and ready to be shown.

At this point I feel that my work, the fundamentals that I have worked on and discovered are allowing for it to be seen. This confidence in the readiness and timing of my work to be seen is why I have downloaded my art info on ARTMO’s site.   

Education: Old Dominion University 1970-1975

 

Grants

1975         Virginia Museum Scholarship and Old Dominion University Scholarship

 

Selected Exhibitions

2009         Group show curated by Karen Dorothy Peters, Alp Galleries, New York, NY.

2002         Group show curated by painter Jonathan Lasker, Eugene Binder Gallery, New York, NY.

2001         Group show curated by Wolf-Dieter Stoffelmeier, Universal Concepts Unlimited Gallery, New York, NY. Reviewed in Time Out magazine.

1999       “Modular Composite” group show, Central Fine Arts, New York, NY: Michael Rees, Petra Maitz, Nui Bo, Stephen DiCillo.

1998        Solo show, Central Fine Arts, New York, NY. Reviewed in Review magazine by Robert Morgan and J. Bowyer Bell.

1998        Two person show, The Clementine Gallery, New York, NY.

1994        Drop Dead painting show, curated by John Ford,  75 Reade St. Space, New York, NY.

1993        Habitations, curated by Birgit Spears, Inter Art Center Group Show, New York, NY.

1991        Two person show, Marilyn Pearl Gallery, New York, NY. Reviewed in Art in America by Robert Mahoney and recommended in The New Yorker.

 

 

 

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