ANTONIO RUSSO™

THE ARTIST STORY

A SHORT INTRODUCTION

Antonio describes his work as abstract expressionism, expressing his mood and emotions through the very act of applying the paint to the canvas in response to pieces of music; his influences and inspirations range from classic rock to modern day rap.

He comes to a blank canvas with no preconceptions in an attempt to create freely with no boundaries, no rules, no judgement and most of all, no fear. With the music playing he began each new painting with charcoal, then would add random strokes of colour and allow his composition to respond to the rhythm of the music unpredictably and intuitively.

CAREER

His vibrant abstract expressionist works come from the creative mind of a truly liberated artist who works on the principle that “imagination is more important than knowledge; knowledge is limited, imagination is endless.”

Antonio has exhibited all over the world, including Miami, New York and ‘The Louvre’ in Paris with galleries displaying his art in LA, Vegas and Dubai. His work was also featured in the first ever art exhibition in the stunning, newly renovated Gustave Eiffel Room at the Eiffel Tower.

STYLE AND TECHNIQUE

Antonio began painting and drawing at a very young age. Being heavily dyslexic and autistic, he always found difficulty in expressing himself. He has always used art as his expression tool. He used his built up energy to create detailed pencil drawings of both the surrounding landscapes, but also similar in style to the paintings he creates now.

EARLY LIFE

Antonio moved from Sicily to the UK when he was 12. Not being able to speak the language, he struggled at school, being heavily dyslexic and was also bullied for many years.

His Dad was a very successful business man, owning his own restaurant chain, being one of the biggest fruit and veg importers in Europe, alongside many other businesses. He was known as the ‘Italian Del Boy’.

Antonio, watching his dad create a great and successful business empire from nothing, got a lot of his motivation and inspiration from him, as well as a lot of drive and determination from being bullied at school-

THE RACING CAREER

Age of 16 he was racing carts

At the age of 18 he was racing cars in ‘Formula Ford’.

At the age of 21 he was racing cars in ‘Formula Three’ with names like Damon Hill, Eddie Irvine, Johnny Herbert, Mark Blundell, and Paul Warwick.

His racing career came to an immediate stop when he was 23 after had a huge accident which left him in a coma and with serve back injury.

RESTAURANT OWNER

Unable to race again, Antonio did the only thing he knew how, after watching his Father for many years- he opened a restaurant. By the time he was 26 he had a chain of 8 restaurants up and down the country.

When he was 28 he declared bankruptcy and went back to work in one of his owns restaurants, which he had sold, as a pot wash. He then worked again from the bottom exploring other business ideas, such as a leather business and importing foods.

He opened a restaurant when his Son Oscar was 6 months old and named it Oscars, which is now an established Italian Restaurant with 28 successful years behind it.

ARTISTIC LEGACY

Being an artistic person, he has always been painting, drawing and creating music. He was signed with the Production Company, Sony BMG under his own house label ‘Loony Records’. He worked with names such as Usher, Kayne West and Eliza Doolittle.

In 2016 he was signed with the UK Publishing House, Demontfort Fine Art and was exhibited in over 50 galleries in the UK, Clarendon Fine Art and Whitewall Galleries.

WORKS IN FINAL YEARS

In February 2019, Antonio was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Grade 4 Brain Tumour and after a long three and a half year battle, sadly passed away in June 2022.

During this time, he raised money for The Brain Tumour Charity, a charity very close to him since his dad passed away from the same type of Brain Tumour in 2007.

HIS LEGACY CARRIED ON

Since he passed away, we have carried on his legacy and have raised just under £100,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity and The Hospice Of St Francis, the hospice that helped the family care for Antonio when he was sick.

His late artwork was hugely influenced by his illness, positively and negatively. When looking at his paintings, you can see that he puts his whole passion of life on his canvas. You get a piece of history, a piece of someone’s life.

AWARDS

Best New Artist 2014

by the Fine Art Trade Guild

Best Selling Published Artist 2016

by the Fine Art Trade Guild

"The Effetto Arte" Award 2014

by the Venice Biennale

"The Leone Dei Dogi" Award 2015

by the Venice Biennale

Great Master of Art 2018

International Prize Caravaggio, Milan

International Artist of the year 2020

by the Biennale Dei Normanni, Palermo, Sicily

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