Winter Afterglow, oil/linen, 24x30
Fine Art Connoiseur
Summer Issue, 2007
Fine Art Connoisseur
Artists Making Their Mark:
Three to Watch
There is a lot of superb art being made these days; this column shines light on a trio of talents.
PETER FIORE (b.1955), like many landscape painters, often visits Italy, yet he is just as easily transported by the ostensibly unremarkable farms and woodlands near his home in northeastern Pennsylvania. “I am interested in making the simple profound, so my own backyard can be inspirational. I just walk out my door and it’s all there. By painting simply, magic happens.”
Indeed, it is the contrast of Fiore’s compositional simplicity with the complexity of his lively brushwork that makes him a standout. Employing a deceptively wide array of marks and colors, Fiore captures the way that light and shadow impart mood to a patch of land. Like many before him, he prefers winter because snow “reflects light and creates a spectrum of colors. But for me, that light is more than a visual tool, it is an emotional subject.” With a worldview like this, Fiore need not travel far for stimulation, but simply hop in a car and explore the seashores and countryside of his own region, from Maine to North Carolina.
Fiore was born in New Jersey and studied illustration at Pratt Institute before focusing on painting at Manhattan’s Art Students League. His career in illustration has been stellar, featuring more than 20 children’s books such as Lynne Cheney’s bestselling When Washington Crossed the Delaware (2004), a mural campaign for Ralph Lauren’s boutiques, almost two dozen paintings of U.S. Air Force missions worldwide, plus a two-year presidency of the Society of Illustrators — the pantheon of its field.
As an illustrator, Fiore is, by definition, a people person, adept at addressing clients’ needs while remaining true to his vision. By contrast, the landscape oils for which he is now winning attention reflect a distance from the fray: His favored acreage is cultivated by human hands, yet we see no figures. Although Fiore’s colors are richer than those of his fellow Pennsylvanian Andrew Wyeth, both men impart a touch of romantic nostalgia to empty spaces, without crossing that invisible border into sentiment or prettiness.
This is a balance not everyone can strike, and we look forward to seeing where Fiore takes his gift next. The results can be found at Brazier Fine Art, Richmond, Virginia; Greenwich Workshop Gallery, Fairfield, Connecticut; Kerygma Gallery, Ridgewood, New Jersey; Travis Gallery, New Hope, Pennsylvania: and Woodsum Gallery, Warner, New Hampshire.
Fine Art Connoisseur
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