The Women Featured in Works of Artist Pino

Windswept by Pino
Windswept by Pino

Would-be authors are constantly being told to “write what you know”. For the great artist Pino, the advice must have been “paint what you know”, for the famed Italian illustrator and portrait creator has relied heavily on the women and images of his childhood as the basis of his iconic work.

Pino Artwork - A Tribute His Heritage

The paintings of artist Pino (born Giuseppe Dangelico) are a clear tribute to his heritage and upbringing, with their emphasis on working class situations, strong figures and rural settings. These elements made Pino not only one of the most sought after romance novel illustrators but a must-have addition to the collection of artists around the world. Even after his death in 2010, artist Pino continues to find new fans who are being introduced to his work.

Where It All Began

Pino was born in Bari, Italy in 1939 and displayed talent at an extremely early age. It was his first grade teacher, in fact, who suggested to his parents that they consider encouraging Pino by enrolling him in art school. After some reluctance they allowed him to explore his talents and eventually he enrolled in the Art Institute of Bari and later attended the Academy of Brera in Milan.

In school, Pino excelled at painting the nude form and soon found work creating illustrations for books. After moving to New York City in 1978, Pino became a much sought-after illustrator for romance novel publishers such as Zebra and Dell. But eventually the strain of being forced to meet artistic deadline conflicted with his desire to expand his scope and he began concentrating on his impressionistic paintings full-time in 1992.

Depicting Feelings and Memories of His Youth

While Pino’s work depicts sensuous women in various poses, settings and states of dress, they also manage to depict his feelings and memories of his youth. The warm sunny beaches and lush fields are taken directly from his home and the clothing of many of the women, men and children are styles that were popular when he was a child. The subjects are often seen engaging in activities that are nostalgic – reclining on a daybed, brushing their hair in the mirror, strolling to or from a beach picnic or harvesting flowers or wheat – which further demonstrate the role his childhood plays on his work.

It has been said that many of the women in Pino’s paintings are based on the women of his childhood – mother, aunts, cousins, etc. And while there are nudes and semi-nudes, most of the women are simply going about their day and chores, something the young Pino no doubt observed hundreds of times.

Pino's Trademark

The oil paintings themselves are created in a style that has become a Pino trademark: his skillful use of light and shadow, bold brushstrokes that nevertheless create soft, flowing figures, pastel colors that he manages to take from subdued to bold.

As for the figures in the paintings, their subtle expressions manage to convey longing, hope, melancholy or any of a hundred other emotions. That they are able to evoke these feelings from the viewer is a credit to the formidable talents of Pino.

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