Emerging Artists | Dan Graziano

Locked, oil, 12 x 9.

Whether Dan Graziano is painting a flatbed Ford or a crimson-colored door, the viewer can expect to find elements of wear, tear, and decay. A Graziano truck may be a bit rusty, and one of the front doors might feature peeling paint. But for the Los Angeles-based artist, these are merely signs of character and authenticity.

As Graziano points out, displaying the effects of time is in stark contrast to today’s clamor for the next big thing and the current culture of disposability. He points to a painting titled LOCKED as an example. “The worn red paint on the door is one of those incredible things I don’t find too often—a proud testament of age, use, and strength. I’m glad I was able to capture this rustic jewel before someone permanently destroyed it with a can of Sherwin-
Williams exterior latex,” Graziano says. “I was grabbed by the dramatic contrast of light and shadow on the ancient doorway, which really gives the painting its depth.”

While Graziano is frequently drawn to rustic images, he is equally enamored with depicting the pristine beauty of his native California, from its rocky coastline to its pockets of still-unspoiled countryside. Like William Wendt and the other early California Impressionists who inspire him, Graziano is fond of painting such scenes on location.

Last year Graziano was juried into the Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational, and earlier in the year he won a first-place award for a street scene at Less is More, a show presented by the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. When it comes to subject matter, Graziano’s versatility is evident in two of his paintings currently on view at the Contemporary Masters, Artistic Eden III show. One painting captures an old movie theater, while the other depicts of a charming, tree-lined bridge in Pasadena. —Bonnie Gangelhoff

New Masters Gallery, Carmel, CA; Morris & Whiteside Galleries, Hilton Head Island, SC; Parke Schaffer Fine Art, Wayne, PA; Southam Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT; www.dangrazianofineart.com.

Featured in the June 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase a copy:
Southwest Art magazine June 2012 digital download
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