We had the good fortune of connecting with Steve Dininno and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steve, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
Creating a painting or graphic that reveals beauty brings me great joy. It doesn’t have to be pretty or pleasant to be beautiful…although it can be…but has to have a rhythm to it, like good jazz. For me, there’s a feeling of bringing something positive into existence that’s invigorating. I remember a line from the Stephen Sondheim play “Sunday in the Park with George” where the fictional George Seurat character points to his drawing and excitedly says: “Look! I made a hat, where there never was a hat!!!” That pretty much says it for me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was a full time illustrator for over 30 years. I did imagery for countless newspapers, magazines, advertisements, books, brochures, etc. I did less illustration as I became more interested in painting and printmaking, eventually dedicating all my creative efforts to fine art. I’m probably most excited about making prints, especially monotypes. I love trying to capture the drama of light and monotype has been a terrific medium for this. I am where I am today by constant observation and working every day. Consistently creating new work is vital! Each new painting or print should be treated as a rung on a ladder, a place to step on the upward climb. My brand consists mostly of New York cityscapes, beachscapes and baseball. These are the passions of my life that connect the years from early boyhood to the present. What makes my art different than many is that I don’t paint these subjects with sentimentality. I treat them the same way I would if it was a still life; with an eye for rhythm, light and balance.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d start with a Braves game…hopefully with the Yankees in town! I’d take him to dinner at Vatica Indian Restaurant, which isn’t far from the ballpark. If it’s a Sunday, I’d take him to the Strand Theater on Marietta Square to see a silent movie with live musical accompaniment, followed by dinner at McCracken’s (best corned beef and cabbage ever!!!) Maybe we’d take a day to hike Kennesaw Mountain and pay a visit to my favorite Georgia gallery; dk Gallery on Marietta Square (full disclosure that I’m one of their artists). If it’s lunch we want, I’d take him to Hoboken Cafe (also in Marietta). The Georgia Aquarium on another day and the High Museum on still another would be pretty terrific as well…along with dinner at 2 Urban Licks. Not a bad five day visit!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many to thank, but I’d have to start with my parents, Ann Marie and Donald Dininno. Neither had any great interest in art, yet they were always encouraging me to follow my path as an artist. They were 2nd generation Americans from strong working class backgrounds, so it was truly an act of love…and faith…that they were so supportive of my dream. They believed in me.
Other: https://dkgallery.us/artist/steve-dininno https://www.bennettgalleriesnashville.com/steve-dininno https://www.river-gallery.com/steve-dininno
Photo of me teaching printmaking at Emory University by Linda Armstrong