Interview with Artist Vincent Romaniello | Museum Quality Framing

Interview with Artist Vincent Romaniello

At Museum Quality Framing, we love bringing you insight and perspectives from artists. Today, we have an interview with artist Vincent Romaniello.

Museum Quality Framing: Can you tell me a little about yourself?
 

Vincent Romaniello: I’ve always loved pictures and stories. My mother told me that when I was very young I would throw a fit in the supermarket isle because I wanted a magazine or a book. She liked to point out the other kids would be screaming because they wanted Cocoa Puffs or some candy.

I haven’t changed much since then. If I’m not in the studio painting, or sculpting, I’m learning a piece on piano from Scarlatti or Robert Glasper, designing a website, or reading.

I grew up in Connecticut and South Jersey, where I still have a lot of family, and when it came time to go to art school I moved to San Francisco and stayed for 14 years. Since then I’ve lived in a suburb of Philadelphia and New York.

In 2008 I started a studio touring group that became an artist co-op, sageprojects.blogspot.com. In 2009 we ran a full time gallery space together and presented the work of over 250 artists.

These days my wife Lisa and I both work a lot but occasionally we go to a gallery opening or out to have a beer in Brooklyn. There are a lot of great restaurants and bars here. On weekends we try and spend time with our family and friends which usually involves cooking.

MQF: Your blog features many different pieces of art. How do you choose which artists to feature?

VR: As diverse as the art is there’s so much more that I can’t get to or I don’t post because it doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve become much more open-minded over the years but like everyone I still have preferences. I show photographs that I shoot of art that catches my eye and let the readers make up their own minds as to whether they like something or not.

I get quite a few press releases for exhibitions in my email box these days and I use some of those in addition to the exhibitions I photograph. By sharing on my blog and on Facebook I hope to help get the word out about the artists and galleries I feature. It’s one way that I can contribute to my community too.

Initially I started a vlog in 2004 posting videos I shot of artists from the Philadelphia and New York area mostly. Video equipment became very affordable at that time, Internet video streaming became a reality, and I felt because of my training and experience as an art director and designer I could take advantage of these developments. Since then I’ve made over 60 videos.

MQF: Your work often combines 2D - drawing, painting - with 3D - folding cardboard, large sketchbooks. What do you find interesting about working in multiple mediums and dimensions?

VR: I became more involved in creating 3D work for a few reasons. Mainly it was because I like the way that 3D along with 2D work activates a space. I also became more interested in creating immersive environments instead of singular works. In New York in the early 90's I saw quite a few good shows where artists who were known primarily as painters included sculpture in their exhibitions and I really liked what I saw. Of course that tradition goes back further with artists like Miro and Picasso, and artists before them.

One example is a series of work that I made called Furrows where I use natural pigments suspended in gesso to make wall pieces. Along with those paintings I made sculptural pieces using similar materials and parameters that I set up for myself.

Another example of combining 2D - drawing, painting - with 3D are the oversize, political works on paper. When the economy crashed in 2008 I was forced to see what I could do with recycled materials and make a statement about what was happening politically at the same time.

I also did a body of work with repurposed materials I had left over from working on our house and from things I found.

MQF: How would you describe your art style?

VR: I don’t think of my work as fitting into a style. If anything I probably use a number of styles. My work has become more idea based and I use whatever materials and methods that I need to realize a project.

I start off by exploring different ideas I have or by experimenting with materials. Some of the best ideas have come from things I found on the street. Once I feel I have an idea worthy of spending years developing I create a body of work.

If there are threads running through the different bodies of my work it would be that I care about the integrity of the materials, even though some of it is found, and I strive for a certain level of skill.

More recently there’s a kind of black humor in the work, like in the Village Drones. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle use is a serious subject we should be talking about more. But I think there’s something fun the way the drawings include organic and mechanical parts. The characters I create like the Goth Drone, BeeWare and others have a comic side to them. I’m currently making Baby Drone Air Fresheners. I am hoping to get thousands of people to hang them from their car mirrors to send a message that we should be vigilant about drone use. Plus, it would look cool.

MQF: Tell me about a recent work that you're especially proud of.

VR: The most recent would be the Doodle Paintings. On the surface they might seem lighthearted but doodles are symbols and symbols carry meaning. Because I’m using discarded cardboard as a support, that can suggest topics like consumer waste and littering. Individual pieces have unique messages like the yin-yang, lightning bolts, and clouds, some have cryptic text and other seem to be mindless scribbles. I find the idea of unconscious or unintentional art making very interesting.

Vincent can be found online at vincent-romaniello.blogspot.com and  romanblog2.blogspot.com.


 
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