Donato Giancola: Adventures in Imagination
Huth, Boeing, Salmon and Haws Galleries
October 30, 2022 – January 22, 2023
Lecture and Preview Party
Thursday, October 27 | 6 – 8 p.m.
Donato Giancola is an American artist specializing in narrative realism with science fiction and fantasy content. Considered the most successful sci-fi/fantasy illustrator working today, he creates engaging paintings that bridge the worlds of contemporary and historical figurative arts. Exclusive to the Huntsville Museum of Art, Adventures in Illustration will include a range of thematic subjects, including paintings and drawings based on the popular HBO series Game of Thrones, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, J.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and the fantasy tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. Also included are works created to illustrate the covers and stories of recent fantasy novels, as well as other surprises. Organized by HMA.
About Donato Giancola:
From J.R.R. Tolkiens’ The Lord of the Rings to Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa, Donato Giancola balances modern concepts with figurative realism in his paintings to bridge the worlds of contemporary and historical narrative arts. His influences encompass artistic performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music to pilgrimages to museums around the world, including the Uffizzi, Prado, Louvre and Hermitage. Donato recognizes the significant cultural role played by visual art and makes personal efforts to contribute to the expansion and appreciation of the narrative genre that extend beyond his clients and exhibitions. To those ends, the artist teaches at the Illustration Master Class and mentors online through the SmArt School. Donato also appears at various institutions, seminars, and conventions, from San Diego to Rome to Moscow, performing demonstrations in oil paint and lecturing on his aesthetics.
Born in 1967 and raised in Colchester, Vermont, Donato always had a passion for art. Wintery and stormy afternoons were filled with drawing, creating art for games, and constructing miniature figurative dioramas. Love of imaginative play dominated his childhood, both indoors and out. At the age of 20, Donato enrolled in his first formal art class, beginning his professional training. He further developed his technical skills and aesthetics while attending Syracuse University from 1989-1992. Immediately after graduating Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Painting, Donato moved to New York City to immerse himself in the inspired and varied art scene found there.
Donato spent his formative years in the early 90s in New York City as the studio assistant to the preeminent figure painter Vincent Desiderio. Long days of study in the museums and galleries of New York fostered his love and appreciation of classical figurative art. Donato continues his artistic development by visiting museums and gallery exhibitions regularly, analyzing original artworks firsthand, attending life drawing sessions, and seeking challenges within every new project. Pilgrimages to major museums and art institutions are his preferred reason to travel.
Since beginning a professional career in 1993, Donato’s list of clients has grown to include major book publishers and collectors in New York to concept design firms on the West Coast: notables include The United Nations, LucasFilm, National Geographic, CNN, DC Comics, Microsoft, The Village Voice, Playboy magazine, US Postal Service, Wizards of the Coast, Scholastic, Simon&Schuster, Tor Books, Random House, Time/Warner, The Scifi Channel, Milton-Bradley, and Hasbro. Merits range from the prestigious Hamilton King Award from the Society of Illustrators to 23 Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, three Artist Hugo Awards for outstanding professional work from the World Science Fiction Society, notable awards from the Art Renewal Center, and six silver and two gold medals from the juried annual Spectrum: The Best of Contemporary Fantastic Art.
Donato lives with his wife and two daughters in Brooklyn, New York.