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Paolo Andino is a first generation Cuban American painter living in Los Angeles, California.

Did you study art in school?
Not at all! Before the Matt Portrait I had only painted the neighboring church steeple on a small 5×7 canvas and an abstract piece inspired by Indian summer. I wanted to do something special for Matt’s 40th. I thought a painting would be different and fun. I wasn’t a painter but artistic enough that I felt confident something interesting would emerge. Appropriately enough, I was listening to the audio book Eat, Pray, Love while I painted. There were times I would have to stop and cry from the intensity of that story. There were other times I would have to sit back and just stare at the painting. I couldn’t believe this was coming out of me. I could paint! The whole experience was enlightening.

The Matt Portrait is made up of magnetic tiles on top of four art boards bolted together. Where did the inspiration for these elements come from?
I met a girl on a flight from New York to LA. We both had our dogs on our iPhones. We showed each other lots of pictures, talked about music and art. One of the things we discussed was a friend of her’s who painted abstract shapes on wooden blocks and then attached them with magnets to a metal sheet (there’s a picture of one of her pieces in the time lapse video of the Matt Portrait). At the gallery it was encouraged that people move the wooden pieces around. That sparked my idea to make Matt’s portrait interactive. Which was great when you didn’t want a 6 foot face staring at you all the time! I used the bolted art boards because they allowed me to work on the painting during the day, take it apart, and hide it in the closet when Matt got home. This method fell apart because it was during the summer of 2010 when the economy was in the tank and Matt got laid off. I had to wait for the paint to dry and move the pieces to a friend’s apartment.

Can you explain the concept behind the Virgen de la Caridad painting?
I have always been curious about what happens next when a movie ends, or what’s going on in the other room while we are watching a particular scene. I wondered the same thing about this iconic image of the Virgin of Charity. It seems to me that the miracle is the dramatic moment of divine intervention which gives way to peace, makes room for peace. That is the theme of this piece. Peace.

Do all your years of acting affect your painting in any way?
In one way or another I have been performing since I was two years old. It is a part of me… it is in the way I think. It takes several people to bring a play to life. This collaborative process is one of the things that turns me on the most about theatre. First the playwright, then the director, then the actors and all the designers whose individual visions, inspired by the script, merge into what the audience sees. It is from this perspective that I found myself approaching The Ox. The client was part script and part playwright, The space was part script, part set, and informed the style of the piece. I was the director and the actor who would channel all of these parts onto canvas.

Will you continue to use the client and the space as inspiration going forward?
This is the direction I am taking my commissioned art. A synergy of client, space and artist to co-create. Being influenced by the space and using the client as my muse; their likes, personality, tastes, sense of self, whimsy. In essence treating them like the script and drawing inspiration and information. Then channelling it through my artistic expression to create a completely personal and unique piece of art.


Smoking Cock
El Gallo
The Ox
Woman Smoking
Matt Portrait
Virgen de la Caridad
Gallo Marti
Twins' Room
Sketches, etc...

A synergy of client, space and artist to co-create a completely personal and unique work of art.


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