Originally from Los Angeles, California, Chris Dellorco was previously mostly known as an illustrator in film, children’s’ products and books. He is most particularly recognized for his work with Disney, including, among many others, the covers for “The Lion King” and “Lilo and Stitch.” He has also illustrated many award-winning movie posters, including “Conan the Barbarian,” “Revenge of the Nerds,” and “Coming to America.”“I don’t paint to get paid; I get paid so I can paint.” The conviction that Chris Dellorco expresses with his words is a reflection of his dedication to art. Looking back at the positive change his work reflects, he takes us through a window into his own personal joy. Less is more in his eyes, and he’s adapted this subtleness within his new pieces. “”My goal is less to impress people, and more to service the artwork, which is really what you are there to do.”
One cannot help but marvel at Dellorco’s ability to depict a sense of both reality and mystery in his pieces. His take on photorealism has carried a central theme with women; they give him freedom to do whatever he wants with his backgrounds. In contrast to the architectural and landscaping playgrounds he has given his viewers in the past, his most recent work plays with space and gravity. “I wanted to see again how little can I show and get the effect I wanted.” Having photographed all the women in his most recent pictures under water, his intent was to portray and express one’s ability to defy gravity. It’s safe to say his art does exactly that. Dellorco was still able to use the elements that fascinate him, mentioning his fascination with using fabrics and black space for depth. As an artist, his paintings are not expressions of himself on a personal level, but stories that flow through him with purpose. “I don’t like to think when I concept, I like to just say that feels right. Then when I’m done with a painting I know what it’s about.”
Coming from a career as an illustrator, he has adapted humbly to being a fine arts painter. Dellorco established himself early on as a recognized name in many fields. Artistically, his influences have changed over the years, from Vallejo to Maxfield Perish and Rockwell. Having illustrated for film, children’s books and even advertising, this is a man who has set himself up for success. He shares the difference between being a commercial artist and the flip side of both fields. Having gained sight early on of what he wanted, each chapter of his career drew him closer to where he is now. His intent now – to welcome his viewers into his experience with his pieces – differs from his days as an illustrator, where his job was to leave nothing to the imagination. “As I became a fine artist I had to remove that Norman Rockwell approach to art, which is that you tell the whole story and everything is defined for you.” In recent years, his fondness has grown for the artist Carravagio, whom he admires for using shadows and lights in the form of storytelling. Using skills he gained as an illustrator, Dellorco is an artist dedicated to pushing his audience deep into thought.
Spending his time in his studio, it is usually just him, the canvas and his delightful furry friend, his dog Elvis, using his mind, body, and soul as a vessel that allows stories to flow through him, manifesting their purpose. Having witnessed many emotional reactions to his work, he is still in awe of the power art can hold. He shares a powerful story regarding one of his pieces, Her Own Ballroom. “A collector bought it from me, she has cancer. I saw her about a year later and she told me often after chemo she would be bedridden for days. The painting was in her hallway, it was visible from her bed. The painting is a woman dancing in a storm. She told me often she’d stare at it and think if that women can dance through a storm then so can I.” This powerful affect stems from working intuitively. Thinking is not welcome in his process.
An L.A. native, Chris tastes the best of both worlds in his lake-view home. Isolated from the buzzing energy of the city, he is able to reserve his energy for his purpose, yet is close enough to take that drive back when he wants to tune up his energy. Birds are one of his many inspirations, and he is free to share space with them where he resides. Often seeing swans and ducks, he uses them as his models for many angel wings. His current goal is to be able to spend more time with his paintings. His work is his motivation; money is not a goal to keep him grounded. Money is the means to keep him painting, in order to stay grounded. A balanced artist who knows what he wants, it is no surprise Dellorco has had such great success in his career.
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