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Frederick J. Donadio, Jr.
Bricktown, NJ

Artwork Details
Bump Toes IV


Frederick J. Donadio, Jr. was born and raised in northern New Jersey.  He attended college at William Patterson where he received his BA in fine arts.  For 25 years Donadio worked in retail management, specializing in shoe sales.  This aspect of his life became the inspiration for his work.  He was influenced by Salvador Dali, M.C. Escher, and Andy Warhol.  Greek architecture was also a determinant in the ingredients of his paintings.  He extensively exhibited a series of paintings entitled Shoeshines in the late 1990’s, which appeared in the Paterson Museum and the Lena DiGangi Gallery in New Jersey.

Each painting he creates from a grid, enabling the objects to be symmetrical in order to complement the rigid subject matter.  Of his work, Donadio states: “They depict man as a mechanical shoe – a robotic, machine-like, computerized, feeling-less number.  One object is exactly like the next, a nobody surrounded by nobodies.  Lost in a crowd, they just sit on display being mishandled, kicked around, and stepped on.  When they are finally worn out, they are replaced.  Through the use of mechanical drawing, the objects become majestic monuments, not nobodies.  Symmetry instills perfect balance and the control to survive.  One object cannot overtake the next, thus generating a feeling of security. The pleasure of observing repetitive objects reassures us that life is stable and reliable.”

The gradation of color expresses freedom and individuality, and breathes feeling into the objects; it opposes symmetrical form and its repetitions.  Donadio states, “…the color roams free, but within a system and confined space echoing repetitiveness.  Although this is freedom within rules, it equates to control.  Unlike robots, the graduated colors are different.  As one marries with another, the two become one, humanized and important.”