My Profile

My Information

Name: Thomas Valenti
Location: Northern New Jersey
Occupation: Fine Artist
School: Self Taught
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About Me

I was born and raised in the South Bronx in the district known at that time as Fort Apache. Two factions ruled the streets, the various street gangs who created chaos and of course the Mafia who kept the order. It was essential to have a command of what I refer to as "the fine art in the techniques of survival". Never flinch or exhibit any fear. This skill would significantly increase your chances of making it through the night to return home unharmed and allowed you to meet another day with a new set of challenges to overcome. Negotiating your way out of a beating was a tricky business which rarely worked but was always worth the attempt. The trick to taking the beating and endlessly getting knocked off your feet was to always and without fail - get up ready and willing to stay in the fight. Your opponent would ultimately proclaim you as crazy and never bother you again and perhaps even come to assist you when you seem to be down for the count in some future encounter with yet another foe. The key to winning without even throwing a punch is simple, just keep getting up no matter how many times you get knocked down and no matter how hard you fall. In The Art of War, Sun Tzu states - "...a coward dies a thousand deaths, a hero dies but once..." and in another passage - "the war is won before the battle is fought". Courage, perseverance and strategy - a formula for success.
Little did I know at the time of my youth that the experiences of my childhood was a training ground for what was to come and the adversities waiting in the shadows of my future. I took the things that may seem to some, a devastating set of circumstances, and turned them all into positive assets that enriched my life. For myself, as an artist, I value these treasured lessons that I learned so many years ago as I manage my way along this journey of creating fine art. 

Painting, for the most part, is about strategy and analytical thinking. One must be able to fully recognize and understand everything there is to know about your subject. Whether it's the delicacy of a fragile flower or the solid construction of a skyscraper. An artist must be able to perceive all aspects of whatever he/she chooses to paint. It is most essential to have a very good knowledge of the medium being used - watercolor, oil, graphite. Without a clear understanding of your medium, an artist will not be able to turn a 2 dimensional surface - paper or canvas - into a 3 dimensional illusion of an object. 

"...the man we call modern, the man who is aware of the immediate present, is by no means the average man. He is rather the man who stands upon a peak, or at the very edge of the world, the abyss of the future before him, above him the heavens, and below him the whole of mankind with a history that disappears in primeval mists..."
Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul.