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 Paul A. Giovanopoulos  (1939 - )

About: Paul A. Giovanopoulos


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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: illustrator, abstraction, surreal

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Paul A Giovanopoulos
An example of work by Paul A. Giovanopoulos
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography is based on information provided to AskART by Jami Giovanopoulos.

Paul Giovanopoulos' artwork is defined by complex investigation of simple objects. His original vision involved a carefully composed repetitive grid of panels as the base of a painting. Giovanopoulos then interpreted each panel, transforming the object within through "visual signatures" from art history, cultural icons, and concept. In making art this way, he became at once creator, collector and curator of each canvas.

Continuing this idea of transformation, Giovanopoulos has gone on to create large single image paintings that involve a similar thought process. By melding the aforementioned interpretive elements into one visual, he conveys a disconcerting sense of familiar and unknown, anarchy and order.

His sense of visual mischief has also led Giovanopoulos to create a series of
Group paintings, wherein real people throughout history, be they famous or notorious, celebrated or reviled, are surrealistically combined in one canvas.
In reality, these groups are impossible, but Giovanopoulos not only makes them work, he makes it all seem perfectly logical. After all, who better to play poker with Gandhi than da Vinci?

Even as his work sometimes borders on chaotic, Giovanopoulos maintains a firm hand on the overall visual rhythm. The paintings combine master
draftsmanship with tireless invention in a dry humor that stands back from academic painting and essentially, draws a mustache on it.

Following is a biography from the archives of AskART:

Paul Giovanopoulos is a renowned illustrator and also a painter of abstract, surrealist style works. He has been a long-time resident of New York City where he taught at the Parsons School of Design, formerly the School of Visual Arts.

He was born in Kastoria, Macedonia and came to the United States when he was a teen ager and spoke no English. In New York, his talent was recognized and he earned a two-year scholarship to New York University and then attended the School of Visual Arts for several years as a student of Robert Weaver.

In 1961, he began commercial illustration with a commission from "Seventeen" magazine. From 1964 to 1965, he studied in Europe and returned to a lucrative career in illustration, working for "Playboy," "New York" magazine, "Ladies Home Journal", "Redbook", and "Fortune" as well as many other magazines and advertisers. He was also a children's book illustrator including "The Real Tin Flower" and "Free as a Frog."

He won a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators and has been widely exhibited.

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