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Joseph Lorusso

Biography - Joseph Lorusso

Joseph Lorusso was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1966 and received his formal training at the American Academy of Art. He went on to receive his B.F.A. degree from the Kansas City Art Institute. Born of Italian descent, Lorusso was exposed to art at an early age. Through several early trips to Italy, his parents introduced him to works of the Italian Masters. Lorusso would look to these influences throughout his early artistic development and they are still evident in his work today.

Discovering the works of the Impressionists, he gravitated towards the works of Manet and Vuillard. Lorusso searched for similar work of such emotion and soon became an avid student of painting, seeking out and immersing himself in the works of various artists. This path would ultimately lead him to the works of Sargent, Sorolla, Whistler and a whole army of lesser-known yet equally capable painters. Within this group of artists, Lorusso found a sense of identity. In these masterful works, he saw the ability to harness emotion and convey it with power and confidence, yet with delicacy and tasteful restraint. He also saw in these artists the ability to express the “essence” of an object with just a few carefully chosen brushstrokes, creating a visceral and intuitive state of painting.

Joseph Lorusso creates evocative and timeless figurative works. In painting his subjects, Lorusso has concentrated on honing his powers of observation, especially as it concerns color, texture, form and composition. Lorusso’s paintings have been described as warm and dreamlike, a place of restful escape with a sense of spirituality, and shares a timelessness with the work of other eras.

Says Lorusso, “I believe truly great art serves as a trigger into something deeper within all of us”. The mood and emotion conveyed in Lorusso’s paintings evokes a deep sense of beauty found in the quiet times of daily living. His people are mysterious, lonely, romantic, and yet familiar, placed in settings we often see ourselves. According to Lorusso, “The greatest gift an artist can provide is to move the viewer in a way that touches the soulful core within each of us”.

While in school, Lorusso was recruited by Hallmark Cards, Inc. to serve as an artist in their greeting card design division and since 1988 has lived and worked in the Kansas City area. For the past three years he has also served as instructor of painting and illustration at the Kansas City Art Institute as well as having taught classes and workshops around Kansas City.

Lorusso’s work has been shown both locally and nationally and has won numerous awards and honors, and has also been seen in Communication Arts Illustration Annual, Southwest Art Magazine, Art-Talk and US Art Magazine. Lorusso's original paintings and limited editions are part of many collections, and he is represented by many galleries throughout the United States.