Driven to paint, Giovanni DeCunto knew at the young age of seven that he would be an artist of such strength and talent that the world would know him. A turbulent childhood, set in the tough streets of Lawrence, did not interfere with Giovanni’s ambitions. Living on his own in an abandoned building during his teen years, attending school, and working a full-time Giovanni’s grit and determination enabled him to graduate from high school and pursue his dream of attending art school. Upon graduating high school, Giovanni 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.

After a year, Giovanni left the Institute and set up his own studio on Boylston Street, marketing his paintings and fine-tuning his techniques. In 1984, he was offered a full four-year scholarship to Boston University’s School of Fine and Applied Arts. After completing BU and turning down Oxford, he accepted an International Fellowship for Renaissance Study at the University of Padua in Italy, a mecca for the Classics masters. He began to receive significant recognition during this time.

By the early 90’s, Giovanni’s robust mode of expression attempted to redefine classical genre by merging impressionism, expressionism and other significant movements. When commissioned by the GOP in 1992 to create a centerpiece entitled “The Spirit of America” for the Republican National Convention, he had already established a relationship with Rex Scouten, Curator of the White House, who introduced him to Very Special Arts in Washington, DC. Giovanni was among six artists chosen for the two-year world tour, “An American Collection.” This tour brought his paintings into permanent collections such as The University of Kentucky, The Reusch Collection in Zurich, Switzerland, and The Monarch Club. In 1997, he exhibited at the EUNO Royal Museum in Japan commensurate with a retrospective of Jackson Pollack and Robert Maplethorpe.

A voyeur of the current culture, Giovanni began painting icons in the late 90’s such as Gianni Versace, Michael Jordan, Robert DeNiro, Frank Sinatra, JFK Jr. and others. Prominent collectors continue to procure his work and establish his reputation: Reebok World Headquarters, Children’s Hospital Boston, Scutter, Clark and Stevens and Ropes and Grey are among this discerning group. Giovanni’s work was featured on a two-hour, prime time “Survivor” CBS special, with the cameras rolling in to capture the artist in his studio where he created the painting “Sweet Victory,” an inspirational piece of the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series. The piece was bought by one of the stars of the show and presented to her fiancée in front of millions of viewers. Altitudes Magazine, the exclusive Parisian-based publication, recently printed an interview with Giovanni and is the first time the magazine has highlighted an individual artist. In the article, Herve Chandes, Director of the Cartier Foundation, elegantly articulates his impression of Giovanni DeCunto, the artist: “His work is stunning, both in its critical dimension towards contemporary society as well as in the aesthetics he develops.”

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. The physical and emotional reaction to Giovanni DeCunto’s work is as powerful as the work itself – vibrant, intense and in all cases, compelling.

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.

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.

1989

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

Early 1990s

Giovanni’s creative appeal widens as he exhibited at locations throughout the country, including several one-man shows.

1992

Giovanni was as commissioned by the Republican Party 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.

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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.

1993

Giovanni’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.

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.

Mid 1990s

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”).

Late 1990s

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.

1998

Giovanni was painting celebrities such as Eric Wynalda, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Frank Thomas, Dennis Bergkcamp 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. Fidelity Investments opened a one-man show of the artist, and the Boston Harbor Hotel procured a number of his paintings.

Early 2000s

Giovanni articulates a strong sense of social consciousness and political awareness in his work garnering acclaim on regional, national and international levels, including a 9/11 mural that thousands viewed in Boston, Massachusetts.

2004

Giovanni has been commissioned by both corporations and private collectors: 2004, and his mural of the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox was featured on a national prime-time TV show

2005

Giovanni was selected to convey the vision of the largest up-and-coming neighborhood in Boston, the Waterfront. He was commissioned by Joe Fallon, of the Fallon Group to concretize the vision that Joe Fallon had of this new neighborhood as a testament to Giovanni’s forward-thinking, visionary style. His work, which debuted at the Institute of Contemporary Art, encompassed three panels spanning 20 feet-Giovanni’s work ushered in a new revitalization of a neighborhood that consciously incorporates art and artists into its very fabric.

2013

Cosmic Prayer a phosphorescent mural commemorating the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings and the 2013 Red Sox Mural were covered by local and national news.

Early '90s to today

Collectors include celebrities, dignitaries, heads of state, and corporate power-houses. Giovanni painted King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz for his grandson, Sheik Ahmed, King and Queen Kalākaua of Hawaii for the Queen’s Hospital, and has presented numerous portraitures to celebrities. Some notable examples include: Tony Bennett, Shaquille O’Neal, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Ted Cutler, Lionel Ritchie, and Doc Rivers.

2015 and beyond

Giovanni’s work continues to be recognized by contemporary galleries and was selected for a premier show at DTR Modern galleries in Boston with his paintings hanging alongside masterpieces of Salvador Dalí. DTR Modern focuses on elite contemporary artists with the likes of Chagall, Dalí, Matisse, Miró, Picasso, Basquiat and Warhol. Most recently in New York, 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.” While back in Boston, his work is been sought after by local government, premier universities, and cutting edge show room/restaurant spaces like Liquid Art House. Giovanni started to work with Area Nine painting commission work and selling to their private collection. Giovanni was asked to be featured in New Balance Made in America mini website series. Blue Foot TV filmed Giovanni for two days in Lawrence, MA at New Balance factory and in Giovanni studio. The video feature Giovanni painting and talking about what it means to him to be an American painter. The New Balance video featured on Youtube are called American Expressionist has compelling passion for America, and Roots of Craftsmanship.

2016

Giovanni kicked off the year by Ernie Boch jr. commissioning Giovanni to paint his grandfather and father for New England Subaru Headquarters.