Gregory Perillo, western painter and
sculpter, like Remington and Russell before him, captures (in oil
paintings and lithographs) the fascinating saga of the American Indian
and his brave heritage in a highly skillful style that vividly portrays
a colorful chapter in American history.
Perillo combines stark realism with a romance and dignity he finds in
his noble subjects -- a proud, independent, freedom loving people. The
results are powerfully executed action scenes and character studies
indigenous to life of the early frontier.
During his career, Gregory Perillo has been awarded numerous honors and in addition to private collectors, his work can be found in The Denver Museum of Natural History, The Pettigrew Museum (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), The Museum of the North American Indian (Marathon, Florida), The Butler Institute of American Art (Youngstown, Ohio), and Saint Michael's College (Santa Fe, New Mexico).
Born in Greenwich Village, New York, Gregory Perillo is a western
painter and sculptor, who continues to live in New York but who makes
frequent trips West to refresh his vision. He was one of the first
western artists to combine portraits of animals and humans on canvas; in
fact he does all facets of the American West including wildlife in a
style that combines realism and impressionism. One of his early mentors
was William Robinson Leigh.
Perillo grew up on Staten Island, the second child of Italian immigrants
who were the only family in their neighborhood among German-Norwegian
people. As a young child, he showed artistic talent, and he drew
pictures of many of the stories his father told him from his American
history classes he took to become an educated citizen. The young Perillo
enrolled briefly in art school, but played hooky and then joined the
Navy in 1944, serving for two years on the U.S.S. Storm King. On one
leave, he went home with a Navy buddy to a ranch in Montana where he
first spent time with Indian people.
Back in New York, he married Mary Venitti, and the groom worked in a garment factory and earned his high-school degree and began attending evening art classes. In 1950, the couple headed West, and in Sedona, Perillo met William Leigh whose work Perillo had seen at the Grand Central Galleries in New York. Leigh had a studio in New York, and Perillo began visiting him there and spent the next five years, until Leigh's death in 1955, studying with him. After Leigh's death, Perillo began selling his work in earnest, especially through his association in the Hudson Valley Art Association, galleries in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, and the Wally Findlay Galleries in New York. In the 1970s, he began making sculpture, ultimately creating nearly thirty pieces. In 1976, he became a plate artist with his work reproduced by Kern Collectibles of Arizona and then by Vague Shadows, a reproduction company owned by Perillo and Richard Habeeb. In 1990, American Express commissioned Perillo to paint over fifty oils and sculpt two huge bronzes for its world headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. His work is also in the corporate headquarters of AT&T in Baskin Ridge, New Jersey, the Governor's mansion in Albany, New York, and at the University of New Mexico.
40 by 50 inches
Oil on Canvas
Oil on Canvas
24 by 30 inches
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