Plainview, New York
How do you describe your work?
I’d describe my work as social realism because it tends to highlight the living conditions of everyday people and the challenges they face within the political and social environment in which we live.
What is most important to your process?
The most important thing in my creative process is staying up to date with the ins and outs of social and political current events, whether it be a teen trend or a public policy, because the repercussions they bring are what inspire me to make a painting.
Which living person do you most admire?
The living person that I most admire is my friend and fellow artist, James Pernotto. I consider him a complete artist. In the span of more than fifty years as an artist, he has perpetually evolved his style, content and materials in a way that continues to produce top-notch, relevant and innovative work.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife. She is my partner in crime and my biggest supporter. As a fellow artist, she understands the ups and downs, the irregular lifestyle and hardcore work ethic this profession requires. Plus, I know I can rely on her to steer me in the right direction when I’m in doubt.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The greatest achievement of my life is making the move from one of the oldest hilltop towns in Italy to New York City. Doing so allowed me to engage with multiple viewpoints and expose myself to world perspectives, cultures, customs and people that I may never have known otherwise. Being able to thrive in this environment has rewarded me with the evolution of my art from traditional classical to the multi-faceted individual style I have now.
What is your most marked characteristic?
My nose. Just kidding. Determination is my most marked characteristic. Moving to New York brought with it an abundance of challenges and odd situations that I faced while establishing myself as an artist. However, twenty years later I still have the determination to wake up every morning at 2AM to work on my goals of finishing a painting or a grant application or expanding my network no matter what I’m up against. Doing this with a sense of humor doesn’t hurt either.
In your mind, what is the most important thing an artist can be doing today to advance their work?
The most important thing an artist can do to advance their work is to gain visibility and exposure. Social media and the street art phenomenon are two excellent vehicles for an artist to showcase their work on a worldwide scale. These two arenas make the opportunity to reach a wide audience easier than ever before.
To view more of Ottaviani's work, visit his website or Instagram!