As an autistic individual, there are things that my mind struggle to process. For example, people who have died a long time ago don't know about cell phones or modern advances. My series, Dead Trivia, examined this anxiety I had at the time. I put deceased people in my art along with things or events that happened after they died-in an attempt to make this idea in my head that would haunt me a lot, get an answer that my brain could accept. It seemed to help. I don't obsess about that idea so much anymore.
- Vito Bonanno
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Old Saybrook, CT
Vito Bonanno, based out of Madison, Connecticut, is an established and prolific artist and has had artwork exhibited in galleries, art shows and museums across the country. He has exhibited in solo exhibitions at Spectrum Miami during Art Basel in Miami, FL, Umbrella Arts Gallery, NYC and Akus Gallery, Willimantic, CT. His numerous group exhibitions include a sold-out exhibition at Metro Curates, NYC in 2014, Art Expo NY, Love Art Gallery, CT, Art Access Studio, Ohio, DADD Showcase, Boston, MA, The Outsider Art Fair, NY, VSA Arts, Washington D.C, and Intuit Outsider Art Fair, Chicago.
Mr. Bonanno was diagnosed with PDD/Autism just before his 4th birthday. Because he was language delayed, his parents and teachers developed strategies that tapped into his high visual acuity, utilizing storyboard styles to relay academic and social information. The storyboard grid remains prominent in his work and studio preparation today and is a poignant reminder of a boy who was trapped in his own mind.
Due to a lack of accessible art education programs for college age adults with autism and other similar neuro-diversities, Mr. Bonanno began private art classes at Creative Arts Workspace in New Haven in 2006 and has continued his formal training via private instruction from a variety of formally trained artists. Through the tireless work of professionals and strong family support, he has been able to develop into a successful young man and artist that has learned to transform his internal existence into a powerful artistic expression. Vito describes his art and his process best as he writes:
“If you could take a look inside everything I am, mind, body and soul, you would see the images and feel the emotions that I put onto the canvas. My art is a true example of who I was and what I was feeling during the days any one piece was created. Those factors determine the images and colors that are used and is why many of my pieces are multi-layered, because they resemble the multi-layered, chaotic thought process of images and thoughts that call my mind their home.
My mind is a place where images, thoughts and words float around in a bumper-car like world, crashing and speeding in all directions. In wanting to clear my head sometimes of all this noise, I get some relief by taking these images and feelings and putting them down onto the canvas. Over the months of working on a series of works, this process gets repeated and layers are added over layers, sometimes obliterating the entire drawing underneath, other times allowing some of the under drawings to peak through.
The outcome is my hyper-focused hybrid dream-state style, where silent images shout for your attention from off the canvas and demand that you take a closer look into the secrets and treasures hidden in plain sight; leaving you to ponder the wonders of the human mind and psyche as experienced by myself and others who live and work with the daily challenge of, but too commonly overlooked gift of life on the spectrum.”
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