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Craig LaRotonda

Craig LaRotonda

Craig LaRotonda is a painter, sculptor, and illustrator who was born and raised in Buffalo. A graduate of the University of Buffalo, Craig received his BFA while studying with world-renowned illustrator Alan Cober.

At the age of 27, LaRotonda moved to San Francisco, California, to be a part of a larger art community. There, he found a more youthful and vibrant art scene with many opportunities, inspiring him to stay for eight years. In that time, he opened up his own gallery, Revelation Gallery, to showcase his art along with other artists’ work. The gallery was active for two years; during this time he was able to exhibit with many other great artists, whom he admired and learned from. As both a gallery owner and an artist, LaRotunda learned about the administrative side of the art world and how the monetary value of artists fluctuates depending on the region where they display and sell their art.

After his eight years in San Francisco, California, he moved to Brooklyn, New York for two years. Family illness brought him back to Buffalo, where he found a good art community, and a good, stable place to live. He is now a very present part of Buffalo’s artistic communities, as gallery-owner of Revelation Studios and Revolution Gallery, frequent exhibitor, and participant in regional art festivals. In 1995, LaRotonda established Revelation Studios in Buffalo, New York. Revolution Gallery was opened in 2016 on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo, New York.

Craig LaRotonda creates both personal artwork as well as commercial illustration for such publications as Time magazine, the Washington Post, The Village Voice, Juxtapoz, The New York Times, and multiple other publications. His commercial work has received numerous awards.

LaRotonda’s personal art is heavily inspired by the nature of consciousness and the struggles of humanity. His provocative and richly layered paintings incorporate mixed media and aging techniques, ultimately creating surreal figurative works with a dark narrative and a grotesque elegance. His distorted creatures are subjects captured in a timeless space; surviving the brutality and beauty of existence. [1] LaRotonda explains, “I have this melancholy perspective of mankind because… we are destined to destruct.” He continues, “The loss of humanity is mourned by the emotionally mutilated and the physically disfigured and we struggle to gain that humanity through a type of grotesque tenderness.” [2]

LaRotonda’s work in sculpture follows a similar trend. The construction of the sculptures is reminiscent of an old Italian technique incorporating earth clay for the original design, and then casting the work in gypsum, paper, and glue, he then adds found objects to it, such as bones and other materials that are a mix of old and new. LaRotonda explains, “Old materials are what inspire me.” [3]

Craig LaRotonda’s work has appeared prominently in television and five feature-length motion pictures, including the Academy Award winning film “Traffic” directed by Steven Soderbergh, and “The Other Guys” with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. [4]

LaRotonda shows in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, and his current exhibition at the Burchfield Penney, “Craig LaRotonda: Divine Messengers” is up until March 25, 2018.

 

[1] www.varnishfineart.com

[2] Criag LaRotunda, Living Legacy Project Interview, May 6, 2016

[3] Criag LaRotunda, Living Legacy Project Interview, May 6, 2016

[4] Craig LaRotonda, www.revelationart.net