First solo show for Vito Bonanno

New Haven artist Vito Bonanno, whose work is familiar to anyone who has been keeping up with the Bridgeport art scene, is getting ready for his first solo show, at Eastern Connecticut State University. Their message:

Vito Bonanno’s art contains the essence of his life, feelings, thoughts and dreams, coupled around objects or topics that “get stuck in his head”, including traffic lights, grids, ceiling fans and graffiti. His work is image and concept driven and may incorporate any media which will fuel this expression.  Using spray paints, gouache, India inks, oils, acrylics and so on, he works on paper, canvas, or whatever support may suit.  Most of the characters or topics he draws are important to his life and embedded in his personal philosophy. His work has been described as raw, unfiltered, unedited, truthful, comedic, irresistible, bold, playful and charming, much like the man himself.  He has found a way to tap into the intensity of focus and insight afforded him through Autism Spectrum Disorder to unleash a formidable creative power and vision.

Early in his career, Bonanno was involved in The Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven where he participated in student shows and at a members’ exhibition at Art Space, also in New Haven. In 2009, he was named one of 15 emerging young artists with disabilities by VSA Arts and Volkswagen, and was honored with an award of excellence from a juried exhibition for his printmaking piece, “Ghost Town on Davenport Avenue,” exhibited at the S. Dillon Ripley Center of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., followed by a two-year nationwide tour of university and independent galleries. A second piece, “South Haven People,” was on exhibit at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, also in Washington, D.C.

Vito Bonanno is represented by Margaret Bodell, curator and owner of Umbrella Arts Gallery in NYC and founder of The Center of Public Art and Design in Bridgeport, CT. Since his collaboration with Bodell, Bonanno has exhibited widely throughout Connecticut and New York as well as via Outsider Art Fairs in Miami and Chicago.  He is developing a line of merchandise based on several of his popular characters and recurring themes.  He recently established his own studio in New Haven, CT, as part of the award-winning initiative Project Storefronts.  For more:

January 19 – March 1, 2012

Opening reception: Thursday, February 2, 5-7 p.m.