Today marks the opening of Giovanni DeCunto’s newest art collection entitled Family, which will be exhibited at The W in Boston until May of 2017 before travelling the globe in a series of exhibits throughout the country. The Family collection includes two of his most significant works from the series including a portrait of poet and musician, Tupac Shakur and that of music artist and business mogul, Jay Z. I recently sat down with Giovanni DeCunto to learn about his new exhibit and how he selected candidates for inclusion in his Family series. Here is Giovanni DeCunto on Family….
DeCunto says that Tupac Shakur was the first painting of the series because beneath his hard exterior, Tupac was an eloquent poet, a thought provoking philosopher, and a pure spirit who moved humanity forward through his desire to turn everyday life, both the serious and the ridiculous, into meaningful prose through music and poetry. DeCunto says he has spent most of his life studying and garnering influence from impressionists like Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Cezanne, as well as literary geniuses like Shakespeare and Hemingway. In fact most of DeCunto’s expressionist work up until the early 2000’s was influenced by artists, writers, and philosophers who had long since passed, leaving the fingerprints of their ideas and knowledge etched into history. DeCunto says that it wasn’t until he started reading and listening to Tupac that he found a modern day artistic and philosophical genius who inspired his own personal philosophy thereby stimulating new influences over his painting. DeCunto credits Tupac for the modern spin embedded in his work since early 2000 and for pushing his thinking into the 21st century. DeCunto says Tupac woke him up to the realization that just like there are thought leaders who forever changed history in the past, there are also such philosophical pioneers today, industriously pushing humanity forward with their ideas, and because of Tupac, DeCunto is vigilant about learning from such theoretical boundary pushers, and then letting others experience them through his paintings.
Jay Z, best known as a rapper, business man, music titan, and investor, is another portrait that will be exhibited as part of DeCunto’s Family series. DeCunto says that he was first introduced to Jay Z through his Blueprint album, and through that work, Giovanni says he has learned the art of building his own business empire in the world of global expressionism. Giovanni says that Jay Z changed the way he thought about running a business. He came to realize that he is not just a global expressionist and he’s not simply a businessman running his own gallery, but rather, as Jay Z is often quoted as saying, he is a business man. In other words, DeCunto says that Jay Z through his Blueprint series, taught DeCunto a blueprint to transitioning his art from the canvas into building a business. He says that the art of creating an empire is not unlike the art of painting a masterpiece out of the seed of a thought. Both painting and creating business empires requires deep contemplation, a global knowledge of the past and present and how those will translate into the future, and the ability to execute on point.
Tupac Shakur and Jay Z are just two out of what DeCunto expects to be an estimated twenty paintings in his Family series. Others in the collection include Steve Jobs, John Lennon, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk. The one common thread of every portrait within the Family series is that they are all people who have influenced the world by pushing the human race to think differently.
The grand opening of the new exhibit sponsored by The Liquid Art House, will take place on March 2nd, 2017 at the W Hotel in Boston where the exhibit will stay until May 11th, 2017. After that, additional pieces from the series will be touring throughout the country.