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Artist, John Varriano takes us on an introspective journey into the psychological depths of city people as he immortalizes the mood, personality and drama of the city's wealthy elite, urban dwellers, workers and inner city inhabitants.


From the alleys and alcoves, into the side streets, main streets and avenues Varriano’s acute sensitivity of his subject matter coupled with his bold use of paint creates an exquisite “telling” of the glitz and grit that makes New York one of the most fascinating cities in the world. 


For the viewer, Varriano’s oil paintings become a highly personal and intimate affair with the city’s populace; opening the windows to New York apartments with their sumptuous and sometimes squalid conditions, ascending and descending the stairs with subway commuters on a typical workday, confronting the dire surroundings and psychological devastation of the city’s homeless, and engaging with the beautiful people in the restaurants and clubs that propagate a habitat for deal making.

Varriano’s rapture with the city lies in the proliferation and immediacy of its contrasts. For every luxury, there is poverty. To every achievement, there is failure. For every joy, despair. For every fulfilled desire, disappointment and want. For every virtue, vice.  This plethora of human experience transforms the city into a gravitational field, irresistibly pulling millions towards its center.

An artist adept with diverse mediums, Varriano chose oil paint for this body of work owing to its receptive qualities. The tactility of the paint lends to the expressive depiction of textures such as flesh and fabric, concrete and wood, plastic and steel, glass and paper; all prominent components of city life. The scale of his pieces range from demure to grand, with copious compositions as small as 16 x 20 inches and meticulously orchestrated fugues measuring 8 feet in height. 

New York Paintings, Gilt Edged to Inner City