I have followed my friend Ken Vallario’s artwork for close to twenty years now. Since we were Freshmen in college I knew of him. Heard about him. He was a legend. He walked among 18 year olds as if he was touched by something much greater. A man among children he seemed to be. As time progressed we became friends. Back then I never been really felt worthy of such a friendship. I would think I was up early in those days coming to my studio to work and Ken would be hours at work in his studio since sunrise. I am proud to have become his friend and to have earned his trust in order to share our creative lives.
One look at this painting and you can tell whatever he was touched by did not leave him. We went to Florida State University together and eventually were both in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program for studio art. There wasn’t much guidance in the program. You were given a studio and basically told to go find yourself. Many didn’t find themselves. I believe Ken did and continues to do so each painting he creates. Without a doubt his paintings continue to get better and better. I consider him a master painter now, whatever that means. Maybe it’s because I can see this piece hanging next to the masters of the art history books we so worshiped as painting students. As an adult with many of my illusions of grandeur burst, I realize we are always students. It would seem we are getting closer to something majestic.
In each creative action we do, we get closer to some sort of internal truth. This painting resonates with truth. There is mystery. There is discovery. There is symbolism (of which I’d like to discuss further). There is superb craftsmanship. There is soul. ‘The Singularity’ is 48″x60″ inches. It’s not by any means a small painting. I know how hard it is to work this large but I can not begin to imagine the amount of time and attention to detail it would take to make such a piece. I am proud to know a master painter. I also seek to master a medium one day. I gave up drawing and painting two years ago after a major surgery. This painting took a year to make. It makes me think that if it takes a decade to make a work of this stature, one should always keep at it. Never give up. Thank you Mr. Vallario. I look forward to your next masterpiece but I must say if you never painted again, this one would do your life’s work due justice.
For more information on The Singularity