A painter chooses a subject, and if he loves it, can't get away from it 'til he's exhausted it from every conceivable perspective. I've been immersed in painting sea-life for the past several years now, and I keep finding deeper layers to its meaning.

The sea as a subject is boundless in possibilities and dripping with rich, historical imagery, from the Bible, to literature, to Greek and Roman mythology.  It has a great power.  And yet, I find it is often treated sweetly in contemporary art, and not with the dark power I feel when confronted with its beauty.

The sea has moods, emotions, secrets below the surface; in my paintings I'm trying not for a photo-realistic approach, but coming from a standpoint of its awe-inspiring drama over what I see and imagine, pure emotion.

After hours and hours of painting, my night oftentimes ends when I take my books to sleep with me, so even as I read I can still see my paintings in my mind.  They're in my dreams. Sometimes I paint and when I stand back I  wonder where these images are  coming from.

I think because art and literature are two of my great passions it has naturally evolved that these two forms should marry in my work in  one way or  another.

Painting for me is an ever-evolving process of learning, with an immense respect for the academic painting techniques of the great masters; the inspiration for my subjects come from  centuries of thought, from nature, and  from the compositions and writings of the poets, artists and philosophers who subliminally influence my work.

" To burn  always with this hard, gem-like flame, this ecstasy,"  is the greatest pursuit of the artist. This occurs  mostly by arduous work, and often by happenstance, but it's one of the most exciting elements of creating for me.

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Photos & Video by Gus Cantavero