Artist Spotlight: Franc D’Ambrosio

By: Aleksandra Bulatskaya

Franc D’Ambrosio’s La Diva, 24”x24”, acrylic on canvas

Franc D’Amrosio is an artist who is not used to starving. As a young singer, he made his Broadway debut in Sweeney Todd, where was discovered by Francis Ford Coppola and offered the role Michael Corleone’s son in Godfather III. While auditioning for Miss Saigon in San Francisco, he was instead offered the much more prestigious lead role in The Phantom of the Opera. For such a gifted and exceptionally hardworking performer, the success comes as no surprise.

But nobody was more surprised than D’Ambrosio, when oil paintings he created as a hobby, became highly coveted and collected.

He first picked up painting alongside a friend, who was going through a difficult period in his life and was using art as catharsis. Theatrical themes can be found in almost all of his pieces as angelic forms dance and majestic figures stand on a stage. It’s no accident that his muse, is longtime Phantom of the Opera costar, Lisa Vromen.

Many fans compare his work to Jackson Pollok but while D’Ambrosio’s art certainly comes from the same school of thought, his style couldn’t be more different. While Pollock was known for adding materials to his canvasses – even cigarette butts – D’Ambrosio feels his work is finished once he has taken away as many layers of the oil paint as he can.

Oil is a favorite of many painters specifically because its think viscosity allows the artist to be flexible with the style of application. Some artists prefer to add solvents, such as turpentine or varnish to achieve the perfect texture and look.

Franc D’Ambrosio, Angels, acrylic on canvas, 40”x30”

D’Ambrosio’s signature style was borne out of pure frustration. No matter how little paint he applied to the canvas, he always felt that it was too much. Once he began concentrating on taking it away, instead of applying, he knew that this was how he was truly meant to paint.

Some artists spend their entire lives searching for the golden moment of recognition and fame. For others, that moment seems to fall right into their lap. Except that it doesn’t. There is no such thing as an overnight sensation, without the hard work it takes to nurture even the most prolific talent.

D’Ambrosio has spent years developing his artistic voice on the stage and his success in painting is a testament to how artistic growth in one medium, can translate to another.

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