Exploration & Discovery by Jonathan Centeno

Exploration 58” dia. circle  Acrylic on wood panel

Exploration 58” dia. circle Acrylic on wood panel

Discovery 58” dia circle. Acrylic on wood panel

Discovery 58” dia circle. Acrylic on wood panel

Exploration and Discovery are the two circular pieces currently receiving much attention.  True, the circle seems to be all the rage today as a preferred shape, and spheres can be seen as part of, or central to art installations in many exhibitions.

My decision to fill the circles with simple, fragmented patterns came as a result of where my mind always goes when confronted by the wonderful circle: globe, universe, exploration, discovery, and archaeology.  I have worked within the framework of the circle many times, and always, I tend to feel the allure of new boundaries, and no boundaries.  

For Exploration and Discovery, I went back to the fragments of pottery excavated and displayed in the museums of Athens, Rome, Madrid, London, Sicily and Crete.  The worn finishes from frescoes in Iraklion and Pompeii. These seemingly simple patterns can be found around the globe.  The simple geometry acts as a universal visual language, like music for the eyes.  These patterns link us more than we might give them credit for.  They can be found anywhere: On clothing, on utensils, as architectural motifs in government buildings or wooden huts- in temples, cathedrals or primitive worship circles.  They randomly appear, and practically everywhere on the planet, in every culture, in some form or another.  Humans have been discovering and re-discovering these patterns as if they all were mandalas.  Universal visual truths perhaps.  Perhaps they tell us more about our similarities than our differences. 

Wherever you go- there you are. 

Exploration and Discovery, 58" diameter acrylic on wood panel 2019

60’s Mona by Jonathan Centeno

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Did it really happen? The SIXTIES. That time, that decade, that Generation. Talkin' bout my Generation. 

We did go to the moon, didn't we?  Or did we? Did we really wear bell-bottomed elephant pants in purple, pink, orange and turquoise?

Every epoch has its Mona Lisa.  Twiggy was ours.  No, it wasn't Marilyn or Raquel or some voluptuous goddess. 

It was all in her.  In Twiggy we see the whole notion of that period.   The emergence of a new consciousness which has since faded somewhat as the generation that questioned authority and the status quo eventually seized it and became "the new boss"- same as the old boss.  The generation that questioned and demanded answers eventually settled into its lazy boy chair for life.

Today, those who question and demand answers are often regarded as "conspiracy theorists".  We seem to have to sift through more truths than at any time in history.

Today we have the internet.  Omnipotence.  Big brother. Super Bowl commercials. Huawei. Massage Lazy Boy chairs.

Maybe the Sixties required some form of innocence in order for the revolution to happen.  Or did it?  The current generation, through no fault of its own seems to have been lulled to sleep.  Death by smartphone.

Careful.  We might wake them up.

Let me ponder that notion while I sit back in my massage "Chaise Lounge". 

"Sixties Mona" acrylic on wood panel, 48x40

Highlights of 2018 by Jonathan Centeno

 I will state emphatically that this has been a very busy year which has been filled with many late surprises.  A year-end review of the most important pieces seems to be in order.  The year provided many opportunities for me to stretch as an artist through commissions, both in Canada and abroad.  I was able to connect through abstracts, Giardini and Icons.  Three particular commissions, all involving the Giardini series made me realise the special place these works hold in the hearts of their owners.   Seeing the expression on their faces after placing the pieces never gets old.  It is a gentle reminder as to why I paint.  

Pensiero Bello 54” x 54” Acrylic on canvas

Pensiero Bello 54” x 54” Acrylic on canvas

"Per Lei" is the title of a 36x72 brilliantly-coloured Giardini that found a home in Pittsburgh.  A west-end Montreal home is the site of another 36x72 "Nuova Gloria".   A softer, more subtle 54x54 Giardini (Pensiero Bello) adorns a wall in a beautiful east-end Toronto home.  These pieces were all painted and placed in the autumn of 2018, and seemingly came all at once, out of the blue.  What is interesting is that they all wrote to me to express the happiness and joy they derive from the work. 

I cannot begin to tell you how humbling it is.  And how heartwarming. 

I was called upon to participate in a "Soiree" as one of the "headliners" for a quartz company called Han Stone.  Little did I know that November 22, 2018 would turn out be a magical date in my career as an artist.  I had to pull out all the stops to fulfil the obligation.  The venue was superb, the music cool and the food and drink top notch.  The art had to spectacular.

The abstract pieces named for two new quartzes in the Han Stone product line had to reflect the elegance and sophistication inherent in polished stone.  I chose two 48x48 canvases and a monochromatic palette.  These pieces possibly point in the future direction of my freestyle abstraction.  

Portofino 48” x 48” Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Portofino 48” x 48” Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

The circular piece, painted especially for Han Stone hangs on a concrete wall in the central showroom.  In it, my entire experience for the strange but wonderful year that 2018 was is expressed.  New Atlantis summoned my work to new heights, new aspirations. In a sense, the globus suggests all that is possible, and nothing impossible.  

When I dare to allow myself to ponder where my work is on this planet- I feel the tremendous weight of the rare opportunity afforded me.

The year ahead looks busy and promising beginning with Hazelton Gallery in London, England and possible shows in Collingwood (Bright's), New York, and Miami.....I'll keep you posted.

I would like to thank all of the people who support my work throughout the world.  My gallerists and reps are second to none.

I would like to thank J.M.Centeno, curator and special assistant.

I especially would like to thank my family as they are my greatest inspiration.

May 2019 shine brightly as a year which sees the world moving toward peace.

New Atlantis 72” dia Circle Acrylic and mixed media on panel.

New Atlantis 72” dia Circle Acrylic and mixed media on panel.

Monterey by Jonathan Centeno

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Inspired by the natural beauty of the west coast, today’s Showcase Piece is “Monterey”, a 44” x 44” Acrylic and mixed media work on canvas. For more info on Monterey, contact Erica (Head Curator) with our provided form.

-Pietro Adamo Gallery

Showcase piece: Chantilly by Jonathan Centeno

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We are proud to showcase “Chantilly”, a beautiful 44” x 44” acrylic and mixed media piece, painted on 1.5” gallery stretched canvas. For more info contact Erica (Head curator and Studio manager) with our provided form.

-Pietro Adamo gallery

CANFAR: Bloor Street Entertains 2018 by Jonathan Centeno

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Once a year, during the Bloor Street Entertains CANFAR event, Toronto's heart shines a little brighter, and beats a little stronger.

Erica and I were privileged  to attend the annual dinner and after party held at the Four Seasons Wednesday evening.  

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I have been donating art to this charity for a number of years, and the cause is supported by so many of Canada's who's who.  The well-organised event centred around a silent auction in which two of my icon pieces were grabbing much attention and bids.  "la Bionda D'oro (Marilyn) and Joan of Art (Gaga) did their part in raising funds.  The best feeling one can have is that of giving a helping hand, and knowing that we have contributed in some capacity drives home the true purpose of this life.  

Add one hell of a party, and well, it's all good!

Heartfelt thanks to our friend Logan and all the people who work hard to put together such a classy affair!  May the money raised continue to help in the fight and continue to bring some comfort to those who suffer.



Inspirational New works by Jonathan Centeno

We’re proud to introduce 2 new works by Pietro Adamo. These beautiful abstracts are part of the Hanstone series of works. For more information please contact Erica at the studio with our provided form.

-Pietro Adamo Gallery

Portofino 48” x 48” Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Portofino 48” x 48” Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Saint Laurent 48” x 48” Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Saint Laurent 48” x 48” Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

New Atlantis (Hanstone Collection) by Jonathan Centeno

New Atlantis 6’ circular panel Acrylic and mixed media on panel

New Atlantis 6’ circular panel Acrylic and mixed media on panel

It's just cool to paint on a circular panel or canvas.  It's even cooler when the circular panel is part of the statement.

New Atlantis (6' circular panel, acrylic on wood, 2018, HanStone collection, Vaughan, Ontario) was meant to be painted on a circle, with subtle use of colour to create the suggestion of a sphere or globe.  My view of the scope of HanStone's enterprise grew clear as I researched the company, its product and the attitude of its staff.  I knew the piece would be there to reflect a time-honoured tradition of international cooperation in enterprise.  It would have to speak of quality, of the past, present and future.  It would have to somehow indicate the modern pace, but with roots in the global visions of the early explorers.  It would have to, after all was said and done, still be an Adamo.   

As I overheard business dealings going on in the beautiful showroom via portable device and at a seemingly calm pace, I realised I had stumbled into the future of enterprise (all this without eavesdropping, I swear).  

Confidently and calmly, these young Hanstonians were communicating with the world and trade was happening.  Exchanges of all kinds.  In an instant, material quarried and refined in Canada could be allocated to practically any destination on earth.  

I was transported back to my childhood and to my library books of choice :"They Put Out To Sea", "The Golden Hind" and "Explorers".  I was quickly engulfed by the notion that there could still be a romantic and noble side to the idea of global enterprise and collaboration.  The piece, then, would have to cause one to pause and reflect, and perhaps discover something new in it every day.  A reminder of the brighter, bigger picture, and of how cool it is to be part of it.  It would have to be as polished and beautiful as the quartz itself, and quietly command attention unto itself.  It would have to inspire confidence. It would look to the future without compromising the present or revising the past.  And since a picture is worth a thousand words, it would have to be a work of art.

New Atlantis, 6' diameter circular wood panel, mixed media, acrylic pouring medium, 2018 by Pietro Adamo

Dedicated to all who still aspire to building a better world.


Many thanks to HanStone

Up Close and Personal by Jonathan Centeno

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And so it ends.  And so it begins.

Two days after what turned out to be the most important show of my career to date, the social media buzz is still going. Go figure.  A light-hearted approach to a show meant to entertain and be a part of the "ticket" became the show in which I actually witnessed people truly engaged in looking and discussing- actually taking in and digesting- the art.  My art. Their art. They looked, they read and they even touched- ART. The space is so, so cool.

As the HanStone Soiree ended on Thursday evening, I was hearing the final note of A Day In The Life in my head.  As the sun rose this morning, the Verve's Lucky man was playing.  Humbled.  Honoured.  Entrusted.  Fire in my hands.

The Horizon seems far away this morning.  Keep swimming, I tell myself.  You'll never get there.

Ahh...but the journey...the sweet journey.

A journey fuelled by love.  Friends and family. Laughter. Sorry, no stories of angst and anguish here (although if we really wanted to dig deep...).  

I got this from many people at the show: "It's all positive, uplifting, and still so interesting..."

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Alrighty then, it may have been just the atmosphere and the wonderful music or maybe my uncle's fabulous wine.

But if that's my mandate, I'll take it.  Engaging people, making them feel positive...there have been worse fates.



The art of my past, my present and my future got together for one evening and left me alone at the crossroads with a single direction.


Deepest gratitude to all those involved.




Giardini commissions bring colour to Thanksgiving by Jonathan Centeno

Pensiero Bello   54” x 54” Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Pensiero Bello 54” x 54” Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Talk about a week of Gratitude!  

I had the great pleasure of delivering two Giardini which were commissioned by two wonderful couples.  In both cases, the Giardini were gifted to each other, and were agreed upon by both partners as art that they both respected, admired and desired.  

Nuova Gloria 36” x 72” Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Nuova Gloria 36” x 72” Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Talk about humbling.  One couple is here in Toronto while the other resides in Montreal.  You could say they are in comparative areas, and although they had slightly different décor- both homes seemed to resonate with tranquility, and confidence. 

Collectors of Giardini love their pieces. It's quite something to bear witness to the reactions. It has become an important component, like the moment I place a mark on a blank canvas.  Anticipation and nervousness are intrinsic to both events- heaven forbid should the stress disappear- it would be the end of the creative journey, I think. 

 I carefully explained to one of the them that Giardini were not a study in landscape, or a lesson in botany- I cannot tell a geranium from a hibiscus- Giardini are the product of my imagination.  Intensely personal.

As they unwrapped the pieces to their delight, I too, after seeing them lifted to the wall space provided for them, thought to myself: "Gee, this painter must be in a pretty good headspace"  

Someone once pointed out to me that it would be impossibly difficult to part with paintings because they are like your children.  

Okay, I get it.  But children do have to leave the nest sooner or later, and it's nice to know they've found a good home.

To the two families which will be celebrating this Thanksgiving as owners of Giardini: Erica and I wish you the very best, and may the pieces always bring you to a happy place whenever you take time out in your day to simply escape.


And so evening fell as we left Pensiero Bello in the beautiful East Toronto home.  We were wowed by the dignity and class of the people we just met.

 Two mornings later, in beautiful West Montreal, we experienced the same feelings as we left Nuova Gloria in its new home. We were having dinner in Ottawa later that evening when we received a timely text stating that they couldn't take their eyes away from the art.  

Just before the sun set on a serene autumn evening, Erica noticed a wall of colour formed by the trees on the banks of the Rideau: "Look at that, it's as if you left a Giardini out there"


Happy Thanksgiving.  May we all count our Blessings.

Completamente Sold Out by Jonathan Centeno

Completamente Sold Out 46" x 56" Acrylic and mixed media on wood panel

Completamente Sold Out 46" x 56" Acrylic and mixed media on wood panel

What's in a name?  What's in a title?  You can bring your own M.J. story to the table if you wish.  You can draw your own conclusion from the title of this piece if that's what you want.  I can't tell you what you should think.  You'll think what you'll think anyway.Is it too much to ask you not to judge? Look at the art.  Delight in the sheer privilege.  Who was this figure?  Who was he/she/it to you?  Did his work impact your life?  King of Pop.  Complete entertainer.  Serious unanswered questions about his lifestyle.  Serious allegations.  The intended double entendre in the naming of this piece is to allow you, the viewer and participant to determine the side of the argument to which you naturally gravitate.His struggles with colour, his own appearance, gender and hypersensitivity.  His life cut short. This complex figure has been portrayed in countless ways.I chose the hypothetical graphic concert poster in a latin venue to summarize his life.

Did he sell out completely?

Was he completely Sold Out?

 

Completamente Sold Out, 56x46 acrylic on wood

Oh Canada! by Jonathan Centeno

La Malbaie, 60x60, 2018, acrylic on canvas

La Malbaie, 60x60, 2018, acrylic on canvas

The more I travel, the more I come back to Canada.  In gratitude.  More than ever, I feel the need to thank my parents, and my grandparents before them, for the sacrifices they made.  A glimpse into the art and culture found here, whether First Nations, or Founding Nations reveals the deepest influences in my art.  My Italianita is only a part of who I am as a painter.  The rest is comprised of undeniable influences of the works of the artists who have surrounded me since childhood.  Groundbreakers, giants, courageous and bold- even in their portrayal of serene quietude which can only be found in this land.  From The Group of Seven, to Les Automatistes, to Morrisseau- to the Magic Realism of Colville and Pratt, and finally to Michael Snow, Weiland and Shadbolt- they have all crossed my path.  There are too many to mention.

  In Baie St. Paul, where painting is a religion, the streets are packed with tourists on a warm, sunny July afternoon.  So too are the many little galleries.  In La Malbaie, the centrally-located "commercial" gallery is packed with visitors.  The proprietor/curator is charming, professional and certainly knows her stuff.  I turn to the paintings and realise that these are not just Quebec artists. Reps have been coming here for years without so much as being able to place a single piece from an artist outside of Quebec.  Something has changed.  This gallery represents the new rule, and not the exception.  The positive energy in the space is palpable.  The spirit of Canadiana is in full-force here.  All you have to do is look at the art.  Every living Canadian artist owes a debt of gratitude to those whose works now fill our public galleries and spaces.  There is a strong legacy here, as famous collectors like Steve Martin have attested to.  

Our use of texture, our colour, or perception of space (as vast as the land), our light- unmistakeable.  I see it in the work of my contemporaries.  I see it in my work.  

 

La Malbaie, 60x60, 2018, acrylic on canvas

Bull Run by Jonathan Centeno

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Is this the longest run? Are the markets real?  Is the big bad bear around the corner?  The relentless pursuit of money is symbolized by the powerfully beautiful bull.   Renowned for its strength, it sometimes is very vulnerable as witnessed by many a matador.  Those who lose respect for the Bull however, are oftentimes surprised by being gored just before they raise their sword in ghoulish pride in a moment of perceived glory. If you're off running with the bulls figuratively or literally, please be careful!  
They make a fine mess, don't they?
Bull Run, 2018, 40x60 acrylic on canvas, by request
 

Cordoba by Jonathan Centeno

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I have the peculiar habit of allowing my kids to "borrow" my paintings.  The pieces are safely kept on the walls of their lovely abodes, and no doubt they have become the focus of many a conversation.  Some of their favorite "masterpieces" have acquired, I'm told; "squatter's rights" simply by being in place for so long.  So good luck, Mr. Adamo in retrieving them any time soon.  After all, "Pa"and Nonno now, there's no room in your studio!  Our daughter and our son have been constantly surrounded by art, and have a deep-rooted appreciation for it even though their careers are not entirely art-related. ( Their spouses have ingested the "art bug" by default, it seems).  They have become, I must say, respected, upstanding members of society and very proficient at what they have chosen to do.    I told them they could still rebel if they want to EVEN IN THEIR LATE TWENTIES!  Not in the cards.  Thank God for their mother. 

Sitting in the family room of my son's home, I stare at Cordoba, a painting which was completed during a period of time when our children came of age, so to speak.  I painted it at the request of the late Harvey Kaleff, a wonderful man who ran a company called Brushstrokes which held a patent on a process for textured reproductions of paintings.  The only specific request was that it be an abstract piece which would  "blow their socks off ".   My guess was that he wanted it to resonate.  It did.  To the tune of well over 300,000 pieces worldwide. The stuff of retail lore.  

As I stare at the original Cordoba, I am taken by the power of art, and how it can transport us in time.  I am humbled by the thought of just how much it has meant to our family, and how rare a privilege it is to continue to pursue it.  I am grateful for all of the collectors and supporters of my work who have made the journey possible.  My obligation is to my art, and as such, to you, my audience.  It has come to my attention that people are "waiting" to see what "Adamo" does next.  

You see, I too am awaiting to see what Adamo does next!  ADAMO is my 9 month old grandson (Adamo Rocco Russo, b. Sept 25, 2017).  Look for his influence to be in all of my future work. It's gonna be amazing!!!!

I'm Still Standin' by Jonathan Centeno

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It is a celebratory atmosphere that hovers over the Big Smoke this week.  It will end with a bang over the weekend with a huge parade.  A parade that celebrates the diversity that is found in humanity.  An inclusive rather than divisive affair, it shouts out "be yourself" to anyone who'll listen.  Barriers are slowly breaking down.  Acceptance is the key to survival for our species, in my opinion.  We are not going to get off this spec of dirt in the cosmos without reigning in our bitter disputes first.  The pioneers in these movements are often forgotten in the long run, but some of them, because of their sheer talent and courage persist.  Some of them, after the long battle, can actually proclaim that they are still standing...….."I'm Still Standin' ", 56x46 mixed media on panel, available through Hazelton Gallery, Yorkville

Palisades by Jonathan Centeno

Palisades 48" x 40" Acrylic on canvas

Palisades 48" x 40" Acrylic on canvas

Last night I took a walk after dark
A swingin' place called Palisades Park
To have some fun and see what I could see
That's where the girls are

I took a ride on a shoot the chute
That girl I sat beside was awful cute
And after while she was holdin' hands with me
My heart was flyin' up like a rocket ship
Down like a roller coaster
Back like a loop the loop
And around like a merry go round

We ate and ate at a hot dog stand
We danced around to a rockin' band
And when I could, I gave that girl a hug
In the tunnel of love
You'll never know how great a kiss can feel
When you stop at the top of a ferris wheel
When I fell in love down at Palisades Park

We ate and ate at a hot dog stand
We danced around to a rockin' band
And when I could, I gave that girl a hug
In the tunnel of love
You'll never know how great a kiss can feel
When you stop at the top of a ferris wheel
When I fell in love down at Palisades Park
Down at Palisades Park

You know it's Palisades Park
Down at Palisades Park

Ahhh here comes the Summer-enjoy!

New works by Jonathan Centeno

We are happy to present two new Giardini's by Pietro Adamo for the start of the summer. Full Bloom Dream 40"x 60", and Sweet Meadow Dream 36" x 72".  Both pieces are currently available. Contact Erica for more details. 

-Pietro Adamo Gallery

Full Bloom Dream 40" x 60" Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Full Bloom Dream 40" x 60" Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Sweet Meadow Dream 36" x 72" Acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Sweet Meadow Dream 36" x 72" Acrylic and mixed media on canvas