THE ENEMY OF AVERAGE

Tuesday Art ATTACK- Manny Cosentino "Echo Park (2003)"

Christian Franzen

Posted on March 22 2016



Manny Cosentino grew up amidst a large Italian family on the upper eastside of Manhattan, in New York City.  He was encouraged by his parents at a young age to pursue his interests in drawing and painting. They would supply him with all kinds of sketchbooks and drawing instruments on top of taking him to all of the world class museums throughout the city. When he was old, enough he would frequently visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art on his way home from school. Often spending hours studying and copying works from the masters. 

At the age of 15, Cosentino with his family moved to Malibu, California. After living in California for a year he was admitted into the school of art at UCLA. In his time there, his studying with hyper-realist painter James Valerio had the largest impact on his approach to painting. In 1979, Cosentino received his B.F.A from UCLA.  The following year Cosentino decided to further pursue his love of classical music and opera. He began voice instructions with Louise Caselotti. Cosentino studied with her for over fifteen years. 

In 1983, Cosentino received his M.F.A from the UCLA graduate studies program. Since then he has exhibited all over the world and received much acclaim. In the 1990's, Cosentino began working mostly for urban landscape; frequently painting scenes throughout Los Angeles from Echo Park Lake to Sunset Blv. After receiving acclaim for his paintings of the Los Angeles area, the MTA commissioned Cosentino to do a painting of Echo Park Lake. This painting would later be used as a poster on Los Angeles buses and trains. 

More recently, Cosentino has returned to depicting the figure. Learning the classical techniques of the Venetian school of painters from contemporary artist and teacher Martha Mayer Erlebacher. Using classical underpaintings, glazing, scumbling, and grisailles, Cosentino creates contemporary compositions of the figure while using the techniques of high renaissance Venetian and Flemish masters. 

Today, Cosentino can still be found painting throughout Los Angeles and teaching at California State University Long Beach. In addition to being a gifted painter, Cosentino is a very insightful teacher. I have been lucky enough to study with him numerous times and he has dramatically helped me grow as an artist while increasing my appreciation for the arts. His love for painting is infectious and his vast knowledge of art history is dumbfounding. He is both an amazing painter and human. 

Alpha and Omega (2005)

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