Born in Livingston, New Jersey in 1984, Giovanni Forlino moved to Brooklyn at age 17 and obtained a BFA in drawing from Pratt Institute. As Max Gimblett’s studio manager for the past ten years, Giovanni has immersed himself in traditional and modern Zen painting. In his own practice Giovanni has moved from ink drawings to fully realized paintings depicting lush colorful scenes of birds, plants and other natural forms. Giovanni has collaborated with many distinguished poets and painters such as John Yau, Lewis Hyde, Alan Loney, Matt Jones and Max Gimblett. Giovanni’s work has made its way into numerous private and public collections worldwide, including the Getty Museum and the Guggenheim. Giovanni’s studio is located in Gowanus, Brooklyn.
“My recent work appears to be about creation and self-realization, although I do not plan for it to be this way. Humor is the key ingredient. Animal characters appear with halos, in deep thought, and fish are born out of wood. I have visions of hundreds of these hanging at once, which is an extended version of the way my studio walls are sometimes. Giant beasts, tiny birds, and many round, richly colored mandalas. Putting the audience at the center of creation: another one of my big ideas is to create a feeling in the audience as being the creator. I find art therapy very important, and full of potential.
My art has over the years become less esoteric, and more easily accessible by the masses, which is definitely what I want. Years ago I was making art which I thought was right. It was a painful study of art history and contemporary art, and it was competitive and in my retrospective opinion, meaningless. Simultaneously, it was all perfect for my development.
For now I wish to experiment with shows and the installations I have in mind. I am very open, and not trying so hard to push in a particular direction. I have an interest in working with animators, and somehow integrating my work into films.” – Giovanni Forlino