CARMELO BLANDINO BIOGRAPHY
Born to Sicilian parents in Tübingen, Germany, and raised in the culturally charged city of Montreal, Quebec, Carmelo Blandino studied art and design at the city’s local colleges and began a successful career as a freelance illustrator, working with architects, designers, and advertising agencies. In 2002, Blandino shifted his focus to fine art. Today, his paintings are widely known for their immediacy and their sensual, expressions of color, movement, and shape. His work is exhibited in Connecticut, New York, Palm Beach, Naples, Stockholm, Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and his beloved Montreal. He has conducted summer workshops at Von Liebig Art Center of Naples, Florida, and taught drawing for many years at Dawson College in Montreal before transplanting himself to Florida where he lives today.
Since 2005, the paintings of Carmelo Blandino have derived an as yet inexhaustible wealth of visual splendor and emotional resonance from flowers. The flower as subject is not unusual in itself. Countless artists through the centuries have likewise regarded the blossoms of seed plants as rewarding subjects. Where Blandino has proved himself exceptional is in his coaxing forth of something far deeper and greater from his subjects, an understanding that unifies raw, earthly sensuality with the transcendental.
“My work is a sort of continuance in the practice of Buddhist monks,” Blandino explains, “who would bring a single flower to their meditation session and ask the students there to stare at it in silence for a long period of time. Eventually the student comes to realize that he is gazing upon his own true form, a higher Self within the form of the flower, and the flower and its identification properties disappear.”
Blandino offers his flowers not as mere ornamentation but as a focus for the meditative experience. “The exercise of meditating,” he says, “is comparable to that of being a painter in its demands — dedication, consistency, faith, truth, and persistence. Both disciplines offer me a means of relaxation, as well as frustration at never quite reaching a finish line that is in truth illusory.”