CHRISTINA GRACE MASTRANGELO


PERSONAL BIOGRAPHY

Christina Grace Mastrangelo was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1983, and grew up in Western Massachusetts. Always fascinated by figurative painting, her passion first ignited as a child during a visit to the Norman Rockwell Museum, and was further cultivated amidst travels to Paris and Rome. While pursuing her degree in Studio Art at James Madison University, Christina did a semester abroad in Florence, taking classes in Humanism, Italian, and Art History. From there she was hooked. Immediately following graduation she returned to Florence to attend the Angel Academy of Art, one of few ateliers at the time teaching traditional methods. She graduated in 2009 after three years of training and returned to the U.S. where she has been painting ever since. 

 Florence seriously molded Christina’s artistic vision; there she learned the traditional processes of working from life, studied and mastered materials, explored art history from the artist’s perspective, and pursued realistic painting and drawing of subjects that ranged from portraits and figures to still lifes. Her style is called Classical Realism: her work represents nature realistically, often idealized to achieve order, harmony, completeness, and ultimately, beauty. Because of her studies at the Angel Academy, Christina traces her artistic lineage directly from Michael John Angel to Pietro Annigoni, Nerina and Fidadelfo Simi, (of Florence) to Jean Leon Gerome, Paul Delaroche, and Jacques Louis David (of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris). Christina uses traditional methods of layering oil paint and meticulous handling of charcoal to yield realistic work. Her dramatically lit still lifes and the carefully arranged subjects in her figure and portrait works are both time-honored yet contemporary, bridging the gap between her European studies and her life in the US. 

 In 2015, the Art Renewal Center’s (ARC) International Salon selected Christina’s triptych “Know Not Thy Pending Fate” for the Knohl Award, granted for work inspired by literature and history. The European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona and the Salmagundi Club in New York City exhibited the triptych as part of the ARC’s first live Salon. Christina has shown her work at the Villa Bardini in Florence, and had two solo shows in Florence as well as one at the D’Amour Museum of Fine Art in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her other most recent awards were from the Portrait Society of America, Oil Painter’s of America, and the Salmagundi Club. She is a member of the Hudson River Fellowship, and her artwork is currently represented at the Guild of Boston Artists in Boston, Massachusetts, and Williams Fine Art Dealers in Wenham, Massachusetts. 

 Christina spends her time painting, teaching, and traveling between Jacksonville, Florida, and Wilbraham, Massachusetts, with her husband, artist Nicholas McNally

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Christina also posts videos, podcasts, exercises, and exclusive images of her process and studio on Patreon. Visit www.patreon.com/christinagracemastrangelo to learn more.

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ARTIST'S STATEMENT

I try to simply and honestly illuminate the beauty I see in nature. My goal is to call attention to sublimity worthy of pause and reflection. 

 As a Classical Realist, my work’s aim is to represent nature in a realistic style, observing a preference for order, harmony, completeness, and ultimately, beauty. I often choose to not have the material dominate the vision, using the utmost care to create soft, barely visible brushstrokes on the smoothest of linen, and taking time to slowly render my subjects, whether in oil paint or charcoal. I also don’t concentrate on the details of my subjects, consciously simplifying while staying true to what I see. In this way I hope for the viewer to connect with the subject first and the materials second, and for the viewer to notice that it's not the details that make the subject beautiful, but rather the subject’s beauty as a whole. 

 I search for truth in studying the human figure, and over the past few years I have begun to connect the visual truths of anatomy, likeness, color, and form to the underlying themes we all deal with; our daily surroundings, spirituality, nature, connection, our reason for being, and the narrative between life and death. Aside from my environment and experiences, my inspiration comes from Renaissance portraiture, the movement of the Baroque period, and the accuracy of the 19th century European naturalists. 

 My latest works, including “Know Not Thy Pending Fate”, are visual contemplations on isolation, judgment, hope, sympathy, and connection. I make these paintings to clarify my experiences and illuminate universal themes that effect us all.   

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All of the still-life paintings Christina does are painted from life; no photographs are used. For more about this method, see her still-life painting course description under the "Classes and Workshops" page.  


Click here for an in-depth interview with Christina 

in the Boston Voyager Magazine, May 2018!


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