Thursday, December 18, 2014

Robot Sorrow

Sorrow      27" x 33"    Oil on Panel    2014

by Donato

Tonight, Thursday December 18th, will see the opening of a new exhibition of my art in Santa Fe at the Jean Cocteau Cinema Art Gallery.  This exhibition will feature my most recent interpretative works from the worlds of science fiction as well as preliminary studies for George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire 2015 Calendar.

 A major oil painting being premiered is Sorrow, a continuation in the theme of robots engaged in very human, empathetic moments. The loss of an adolescent child is one of the most painful tragedies I believe any one could endure, and I wanted to project those emotions into a form of expression which stepped outside of contemporary politics and historical cliche.  Unfortunately this issue rings far too loudly given the recent Taliban attack in Pakistan.

Over the years I have occasionally given an assignment to my students, The Last Human on Earth.   It was with this content in mind, married with a profound sense of grieving, that I began seeking a resolution to this robot image.   The theme of tragedy runs deep in much of my recent work as I believe true character reveals itself under moments of extreme duress. The works of Caravaggio, de Ribera, Velazquez, Waterhouse and Michelangelo all speak to these issues of a tormented and challenged humanity.  These artists created timeless works of art which are deeply rooted in humanity and intimately personal. It is for this reason I turn to them for inspiration and affirmation in my desire to create narrative imagery.

A total 7 paintings and 10 drawings will be on exhibit at the Gallery over the coming month.

Stop in, check out the art, and catch a movie at this wonderfully art house theater
supported and restored by George R.R. Martin.

A Song of Ice and Fire and New Works
December 18, 2014 - January 12, 2015
Opening Reception with the Artist December 18th, 5-7pm. 

Jean Cocteau Art Gallery
418 Montezuma Ave
Santa Fe NM 87501
(505) 466-5528 

Sorrow       progress

Sorrow   detail

    Sorrow,  preliminary drawing,   18" x 24",  Graphite and chalk on toned paper

A Song of Ice and Fire - concept study    9" x 14"

Shattered Pillars      16" x 27"    Oil on Panel

The House of Black and White - Arya Stark     18" x 18"   Graphite and chalk on toned paper
Beyond the Wall - Bran Stark    preliminary drawing     18" x 18"    Watercolor pencil and chalk on toned paper  



  1. Gorgeous and captivating work, as always! I remember being really transfixed by the preliminary of Sorrow at Illuxcon this year, and the powerful simplicity of it-- I somehow didn't expect it to be even more powerful in the final.

    I wish the best for the show, what a treat for those who get to go attend!

  2. Beautiful painting as always. You even make the ground interesting to look at.The contrast between the rough earth and the slick robot forms is very powerful.

  3. Awesome new piece Donato. The exhibit sounds great...congrats!

  4. 'Sorrow' is a very moving painting. Gives me the feels and all.

  5. Sorrow is a very emotional painting, the fact that the figure is mostly hidden, can place anyone who has been down that path to hell there. The muted color palette enhances the sense of despair while the partial fruit of life is cast aside. It brings tears to my eyes. Having been on that path with the loss of my son this past year has made me turn to the catharsis of painting and I have chosen to find my way back to joy.

  6. Thank you all for the comments. It is a pleasure and challenge to create works like this, and your comments are a great boost to keep pushing in this direction.

  7. Thank you for continuing to inspire me and many others with your masterful artwork!


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