Caesar Citraro

Caesar Citraro is a painter, printer and bookmaker who has dedicated his career to making and preserving works of art. Shortly after receiving his BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1986, he went to Chicago to further his career as an artist. He became an employee of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1987 and worked as a conservation technician in the Department of Prints and Drawings.

His career at the Art Institute also afforded the opportunity to travel the globe to places as far reaching as Japan and New Zealand where he was inspired by the flora indigenous to these places. The paintings that followed contained biomorphic and organic forms derived from nature, but not of this world. My painted world was one of pure imagination where tentacles, thorns, and vines intertwined. His materials included wax, colored pencils, and oils that were applied to smooth, gessoed-wood panels. His techniques included rubbing and burnishing these surfaces, incising them, and adding more colored media into the incised lines to create multi-layered images.

More recently, his relocation from Chicago to Petoskey Michigan in 2008 inspired another stylistic turn in his work. Now, he takes a broader view of his surroundings and have shifted from painting the minutia of nature to painting broad expanses of land and the flora contained therein. He concerns himself with the play of light through trees, across rolling hills, or on groups of leaves, branches, and even single pinecones. Small elements of the abstracted, biomorphic forms found in earlier work are subtly incorporated into these works from time to time, yet the imagery remains solidly rooted in the real world.

The lush farmlands and mysterious forests near my home captivate me. The beauty and visual diversity in this area are amazing to me and I feel the need to somehow convey that in my art.

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