While some artists are inspired by nature, others like Vincent Giarrano prefer the urban landscape. His realistic paintings of grungy doorways, colorful corner shops, and small crowded apartments are inhabited by young female figures going about their usual routines. The seemingly effortless compositions of these corners of modern society make each canvas feels like a candid snapshot of life in the city.
Giarrano originally worked as a professional illustrator who penciled and inked for comic book companies. During this time, he lived in New York City and developed a love for the metropolis. This fascination ultimately became the foundation for his self-taught painting practice. “[My art] is primarily talking about the feeling of real-life experiences and what’s beautiful or interesting about contemporary life,” Giarrano explains to My Modern Met. “There's a particular feeling you have when living in the city, and I wanted to reflect that with my painting.”
With extremely detailed depictions of intersections, sidewalks, and stately buildings, Giarrano's art immerses viewers in the carefully-rendered cityscape. In particular, his paintings capture what it is like to be alone in an urban environment, as his works tend to focus on solitary individuals at home or outside. “I feel a strong connection with the roots of painting as a narrative art form,” he continues. “I specifically identify with the periods in art history that focus on painting contemporary life; Realism in the 19th century, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, the Ashcan School. I like that Robert Henri talked about the artist as a journalist.”