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John Schuyler was born in Long Island, NY in 1965. After early success as a business entrepreneur, Schuyler looked toward Europe for inspiration. He found it in the Old World art technique of fresco and in the colors, smells, and textures of the Tuscan countryside.
Schuyler began experimenting with fresco techniques when he returned to the United State. As he explored the possibilities of fresco, Schuyler became absorbed in the coarseness created by different applications of the plaster to his canvas. Thus, he is able to produce very rich and dynamic textures. Looking at any of his pieces, you are given to a sudden urge to run a hand over the surface of his paintings.
As Schuyler’s captivation with texture progressed, the content and form of his paintings became simpler. Color, studies replaced traditional forms of content in his pieces, and the balance and contrast of color became the second focal point of Schuyler’s paintings. He infuses pigment into wet plaster so that color becomes part of the texture, rather than being applied to it. Schuyler strenuously scrapes acrylic paint and pigmented plaster from the surface of the linen in a style known as scraffito. This technique produces very deep and luminescent colors that heighten the effect of Schuyler’s composition. Warm, earthy tones dominate his most recent work, the Paesaggio series, a reflection of his memories of a Tuscan summer.
Schuyler’s unconventional approach to fresco culminates in paintings that leave a powerful impression on the viewer. His rough texture alludes to a passionate physicality while its simplicity in form reflects a cool logic, a balance inherent in all his pieces.