Antonio Papaleo

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Artist Statement:
Through bright colours, bold images and various subjects my paintings tell a partially told story, enabling viewers to draw their own conclusions. I work with acrylic, oil pastel and mixed media. I enjoy colour and take advantage of the vivid, strong colours achievable with acrylic paint in particular to create a powerful impact.

The colour and scale of the paintings serve as the foundation for my work. The images in my paintings are not intended as a series of signs or clues to be worked out by the viewer, they contain no finite meanings, nor neat solutions. Rather I use painting as a way to explore things I both see and feel, influenced all the time by a vivid imagination. The spacemen who occur in many of my paintings speak perhaps of my relocation from Los Angeles to London. Yet the space helmets they wear are also reminiscent of the halos occurring frequently in medieval religious paintings, one of my early influences.

My paintings can be accessed on many levels. They have an immediate impact, can tell stories and evoke emotions, indeed the finished pictures are always built of many layers of paint. In many of my paintings early discarded images show through the finished picture like shadowy figures, becoming part of it, adding literal layers to the figurative ones. Each painting begins with a simple idea which changes and evolves as I work. Often the final result bears little resemblance to the initial picture in my head.

The music I listen to, bands like Radiohead, Aphex twin and The Jam, influence the mood and final outcome of my paintings. These are bands who have made music with great energy, music which pushes at its barriers. All my paintings are also influenced by graffiti art, which has been a major influence on the way I see art in general. Graffiti is right in front of your face every day. There are no limits to it, and no rules. I think it is perhaps the truest from of art. It is this lack of boundaries, this accessibility to both viewer and artist that I have tried to capture for myself in my paintings.


Feb - Mar 2003
Urban Decay exhibition at the Madeline Pearson Gallery, Islington Arts Factory, London, UK.

May - July 2002
PAPAleo & papaleo - Patre e Figlio exhibition, Coffeehaven Art Gallery, Long Beach, USA. Curated by Joe Flazh! and Maria D’Ambrosio.

July 2001
Thrasher Skate Magazine group art show, Los Angeles, USA.

Dec 2000
Exhibited at L’Oreal Building, London, UK.

July 2000
Thrasher Skate Magazine group art show, Los Angeles, USA.


Art work for the band Kellerton Rd.


July 2002 The Sonny Boseman Show, Long Beach TV, USA.
May 2002 Patre e Figlio by Joe Flash! for the Long Beach Times, USA.

Antonio Papaleo

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