Bruno Mascolo is a grand anomaly in a world in which the appellation starving is routinely applied to artists. He is very much an artist but most assuredly, not a malnourished one. His paintings adorn walls in his palatial homes in Texas and California. He so loves his creations that, like an Italian Vermeer, most of his oeuvre remains in his own possession. Seventeen of his oils have been selected to introduce him to an audience who otherwise might not fall under his considerable spell.
Clearly he has been influenced by many of last century's masters in art. The obvious influence in Painting One is Modigliani. The eye sockets of the man are magnificently chiseled and drop the eyes to a profound depth. The sweeping arc of the nose is repeated in the arc of the woman's neck. The slit eyeball of the female is nicely balanced by the opposite eye of her male counterpart, but the diffused halo effect, behind the head of the woman, is Renaissance in origin. The "nimbus" is seen early in Byzantine mosaics but in Leonardo's portrait of Ginevra de' Benci her name is punned by a Juniper bush that secularizes the halo, as Mascolo has done in the figures below. It becomes obvious, even in a short survey of his work, that the canvas to which he applies his pigments is a large swathe of European Art History.
The distinctive elegance of the neck is repeated below in Painting Two and the halo effect is now enlarged to encompass the whole of his subject.
In Painting Three the neck is massively swollen and the halo effect is now a blue frame electrically charging the oil in contrast with the deep red of the shirt and the shock of white cotton in the under clothing. The head is lyrically lilted. The teeth are glimpsed in the moment just prior to a smile. The subject bemusedly appraises his audience and the artist who has painted him.