Allow me to share with you my personal journey – a story that is dear to my heart and has shaped me into the artist I am today.
My name is Alex Righetto and I hail from the enchanting land of Italy. From a very young age, I was drawn to the arts and spent countless hours sketching and painting in my free time. As I grew older, I realized that this passion for the arts was not just a passing hobby but rather my life’s calling.
I dedicated decades of my life to honing my craft and refining my skills, attending the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Italy to further my education. I immersed myself in the rich cultural heritage of Northern Italy, particularly in Verona, where I grew up. It was there that I was exposed to the beauty of the Renaissance period, which greatly influenced my artistic style and approach.
For me, art is not just a form of self-expression, but also a way to inspire and educate others. As an artist, I believe that it is our duty to carry the rich cultural history of our society and share it with the world through our art. It is almost like a mission – to inspire, educate, and make a difference.
Through my artwork, I strive to capture the essence of my culture and convey it to my audience. I want to take them on a journey through time, showing them the beauty of Italy and the stories that have been passed down through generations. It is my hope that through my art, people will gain a better appreciation for the value of culture and the importance of preserving it.
This is the introduction for the exhibition available at Priano, in Tampa, Florida
However, pursuing a career in the arts was not an easy decision for me. I had to overcome many doubts and insecurities, particularly about my own abilities. It was a constant battle to believe in myself and my talent, but I knew deep down that this was what I was meant to do. And so, I took the risk and chose to pursue my passion for art on a full-time basis.
Today, I am grateful for the journey that has brought me to where I am now. As an artist, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to share my culture with the world, and to inspire others through my art. My story is a testament to the fact that if you believe in yourself and your dreams, anything is possible.
I believe that formal education is a good thing overall, as it provided me with an opportunity to learn how to draw and improve my skills. For several years, I had daily sessions with a live model, which was an invaluable experience.
However, there is a hidden problem with formal education, and that is the opinions of others and the directions of teachers. I found that many of my teachers, who were unsuccessful artists themselves, shared their unsuccessful points of view with me, which was not helpful.
It was like having a school bus driver who couldn’t drive. It was not going to end well, and it didn’t. Most people who end up going to art school do not end up succeeding as artists.
Although formal education in anatomy, technique, and art history is not a waste of time, doing it in an institute led by failed artists can be very dangerous for students. Despite my talent, I was surrounded by teachers who told me I would never be able to make a living as a painter because they hadn’t.
At 18 years old, almost 20 years ago, I foolishly believed this repeated message and quit pursuing my dreams. For years, growing up in Verona, Italy, despite having a strong passion for art and being capable of producing highly sophisticated and detailed pieces of classical Italian art, I never truly believed I could do this for a living.
As I became an adult, I eventually gave up pursuing my dreams, and I didn’t touch a paintbrush for the next 20 years. It was only later that I realized that I had let the opinions of others dictate my life, and that I had the power to choose my own path.
I became a fashion photographer in 2003, and I was fortunate enough to work for Gucci and have my work published in Vogue Magazine multiple times. My career allowed me to travel the world and experience incredible things. Despite my success, I felt unfulfilled as an artist.
Luckily, I met the love of my life and she reignited the artist in me. We spent a year living in the UK before moving to the US. One day, I found myself bored and craving something artistic. I asked Stacy if I could sketch her daughter, Anastacia.
Stacy looked at me like I was crazy, and I realized that I had never even told her that I was a classically trained Fine Artist. I had been so squashed as an artist by an unkind environment that I couldn’t even share my passion with someone close to me.
I smiled and said, “Let’s go to the paint supply store, I want to show you something.” Walking through the endless rows of paintbrushes, paints, palettes, and other art supplies, I felt like I was coming back to life. All of the tools I had grown up with and been intimately connected to for half my life were like an extension of myself.
My hands moved in a blur as I worked on the canvas, bringing to life the first piece of art I had created in 20 years. When I finished, Stacy and her daughter Anastacia were speechless. The piece was incredibly detailed and photo-realistic, far beyond what they had expected.
Their reaction brought me back to life as an artist. I was amazed at the transformation that occurred within me as I reconnected with my passion for the arts. With my fiancée’s unwavering support and encouragement, I decided to recommit myself to art and leave behind the mundane aspects of life, vanishing into a puff of smoke.
The road to Miami Art Basel was a challenging one for me. After leaving normal life behind to recommit myself back to the arts, I struggled to find my footing in the “real world” again. I had no galleries, no fine art connections in the US, and it was like starting from square 1 all over again.
But despite the difficulties, I refused to give up. I spent nine months making hundreds of phone calls and sending hundreds of emails, passing out flyers in artsy parts of town, and doing everything I possibly could to get my art seen by people.
Finally, my persistence paid off. I was invited to exhibit at a world-famous, exclusive venue in Miami, Florida, at one of the biggest art shows in North America. I was both nervous and excited, not knowing what to expect.
On the drive to Miami, one of my most precious frames cracked!
Stacy, dropped me off at the show to set up and then fought insane Miami daytime traffic for miles through stopped-up streets to find a framer that could replace the broken frame. It was an incredibly stressful experience, and I felt like I aged a couple of years in that first day.
But by some miracle, we found the perfect framer to replace the broken frame, and four hours after the start of the actual show, we finally had everything back together and ready to go. Two hours in, we sold my first piece. I could not believe it. Customer after customer came in, heard my story, and invested in my art.
Seeing the emotional reactions of the collectors was one of the most meaningful moments of my life. After spending 20 years learning my craft and months preparing for this show, to finally get to present my art to the world was an incredible feeling.
The show was profitable, and it relaunched my career as a fine artist. Most of all, I regained my own belief that I could finally actually do this.
In conclusion, I want to express my deepest gratitude for your unwavering support. Your encouragement and belief in me have been an invaluable source of inspiration and motivation throughout my journey.
Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for standing by me and helping me to achieve my goals. Your support means more to me than words could ever express. Thank you again, and I look forward to sharing my future endeavors with you.
Today, Alex has a permanent gallery in Tampa, Florida and has exhibited at major locations such as Miami, the Hamptons, and soon Los Angeles.
He has also been featured in Vanity Fair and Vogue. He has made it to the prestigious Art Basel Miami twice, in 2021 and 2022.
Furthermore, on April 3, 2023, three of his pieces will be displayed on a jumbotron in Times Square. His incredible talent has taken him places he never thought possible, and he feels grateful for every opportunity that has come his way.
Alex continues to create art that touches people’s hearts and souls, and he hopes to inspire others to pursue their passion just as he did.
by Alex Righetto
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