Giovanni DeCunto Boston, USA

Giovanni’s paintings have been included in some of the most prestigious art collections in the United States, Europe and Japan. Over the course of his life, this classically trained artist has developed his own incarnation of pop expressionism, exploring the faces and events of modern, global culture.

At the early age of seven, DeCunto displayed remarkable ability to recreate nature, and by the age of twelve he had already exhibited his work. He continued painting throughout his adolescent years, and upon graduating high school received two art scholarships. The first was to study commercial art at the Vesper George School of Art, and the second was to study fine arts at the Art Institute of Boston.

DeCunto began a three-year apprenticeship studying color and design with Napoleon Setti, who is best known for designing the stained glass windows of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. During this decade, Giovanni’s paintings began to receive significant recognition.

In 1983, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology commissioned Giovanni to paint the historical portrait of Dr. Harold Edgerton, a champion in the development of sonar, strobe lighting and high-speed photography. This single painting spurred several exhibitions and permanent collection acquisitions
by such prestigious institutions as The Smithsonian Institute, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, and both the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Science in Boston.

In 1984, Giovanni was offered a full four-year scholarship to Boston University, where he honed his classical and modern painting techniques and majored in art history. While studying with Jack Wilson (realism), David Aronson (expressionism) and Robert D’Arista (art technique), he was profoundly influenced by the expressionist traditions of Oscar Kokoschka, Philip Guston and Jack Levine.

Boston University later awarded Giovanni with a unique one-year fellowship to study Renaissance art in Padua, Italy. This inspired his series of paintings entitled, “Memories of Italy,” one of which was purchased by the City of Boston in 1989 and presented to the City of Padua as part of an ongoing cultural exchange program.

In the early part of the decade, Giovanni’s creative appeal was already beginning to widen as he exhibited at locations throughout the country, including several one-man shows.

He was commissioned by the Republican Party in 1992 to create a centerpiece for the Republican National Convention entitled, “The Spirit of America,” which was held at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas for future President George Bush.

Giovanni donated a number of pieces with early implications of social activism, such as his work “Icon Through the Ages,” which he gave to the Metropolitan Community Church of Boston, one of the first Gay and Lesbian Churches at Old West as a response to rising discrimination and attacks on homosexuals, and “Eternal Star,” which he gave to the Rubenovitz Museum at the temple Mishkan Tefila in Newton, Massachusetts to voice his concern for anti-Semitism.

In 1993, Govanni’s work was chosen by U.S. Ambassador Richard Muller to be displayed in the United States Embassy in Hong Kong. Later that year, Giovanni was commissioned to paint historical portraits of the King and Queen of Hawaii.

In 1995, Giovanni was invited to open Gene Mallard’s new gallery in Georgetown, Washington, DC., with an elaborate one-man show. At the same time, the world tour of “An American Collection” was bringing
the artist’s work into collections at places like the University of Kentucky, Scudder Steven and Clark Investments, the Monarch Club Collection, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and the Reusch Collection in Zurich, Switzerland.

Also in the mid 1990’s, Giovanni joined Ralph Lauren and Norma Kamali as one of the top 100 designers from across the world chosen to create a unique denim jacket with Levi Strauss to benefit AIDS research. The artist’s painting, “Desert Storm,” was also exhibited in Washington, D.C. at the Renaissance Gallery,
and was procured by the U.S. National Archives for the Bush Presidential Library (along with Giovanni’s lithograph entitled, “In God We Trust”).

In 1997, Giovanni’s work hit Japan with such force that noted museums such as the ENUO Museum exhibited his paintings simultaneously with a retrospective of Jackson Pollock and Robert Mapplethorpe. The Prince of Japan and Senator Walter Mondale inaugurated the museum.

In 1998 Giovanni’ was painting celebrities such as Eric Wynalda, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Frank Thomas, Dennis Berkcamp and others. His paintings were displayed at the Reebok World Headquarters, and unveiled to the public at such venues as Fenway Park and Foxboro Stadium.

In 1999, corporations continued to collect his work. Fidelity Investments opened a one-man show of the artist, and the Boston Harbor Hotel procured a number of his paintings.

In the second millennium Giovanni continues to articulate a strong sense of social consciousness and political awareness in his work. His newest works have garnered acclaim on regional, national and international levels, including a 9/11 mural that thousands viewed in Boston, Massachusetts.
Giovanni has been commissioned by both corporations and private collectors, and his mural of the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox was featured on a national prime-time TV show. Additionally, Cosmic Prayer a phosphorescent mural commemorating the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings and the 2013 Red Sox Mural were covered by local and national news.

Giovanni was selected for a premier show at DTR Modern galleries in Boston with his paintings hanging alongside masterpieces of Salvador Dali. DTR Modern focuses on elite contemporary artists with the likes of Chagall, Dali, Matisse, Miro, Picasso, Basquiat and Warhol. In 2013, Giovanni’s work has also received critical acclaim at the newly opened Grumman Gallery, part of Grumman Studios the largest TV and movie production studio in New York for his show “The Spirit and the Modern.”