Dan’s Papers Cover Artist Savio Mizzi Chats About ‘Surfcaster’

October 28, 2016 Dan's Papers cover art (detail) by Savio Mizzi
October 28, 2016 Dan's Papers cover art (detail) by Savio Mizzi

On this week’s cover, artist Savio Mizzi depicts a lone “Surfcaster” as he casts a line into what is possibly the salty surf of Montauk Point. Although the national landmark isn’t seen in the foreground, Montauk Point Lighthouse has appeared in a number of the artist’s previous paintings. Hailing from the Maltese island of Gozo, Mizzi moved to the United States in the 1970s and has resided in East Hampton since 1990. He has had a show for UNICEF. The ABC Network, Barnes & Noble, New York City Opera, Newsday, Norton Books, Time magazine, and many others have published his work. His work has also been featured in auctions at Christie’s and Museo del Risorgimento, both in Rome, and has had exhibitions at the New York Art Coliseum and The White Room Gallery in Bridgehampton. “Surfcaster” marks Mizzi’s fourth cover for Dan’s Papers since February 2015. Its imagery clearly evokes the feeling of the changing season. Here, the East Hampton resident lets us in on what’s behind his latest piece and his creative process.

Self portrait by Savio Mizzi
Self portrait by Savio Mizzi

What’s your process when starting a new piece?
I do many sketches and compositions first. Once I have enough drawings, I’ll do a color sketch and then a finish.

What inspired this particular painting?
I do a lot of surf fishing. The fall is the perfect time to surf cast because that’s when the fish are moving and migrating.

What attracted you to the East End of Long Island?
I enjoy fishing and the light is great for my art. Before I moved here, I lived in New York City. I did a lot of work in advertising and the fashion industry. It’s more like home here.

Who are some of your favorite artists?
There are a lot. One of them is Gustav Klimpt. He was one of the leading figures of the Vienna Secession movement. Winslow Homer also. He was an American that was known for his landscapes in the 19th-century. Like myself, he also focused a lot on marine life. Another was an Italian guy from after the Renaissance. His name was Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. He was from Venice, and influenced a lot of artists in Germany and Spain, too. There’s many more, but the last one is Bob Peak. He’s a little younger than the others. His artwork was on the covers of Sports Illustrated and Time. He also designed a lot of movie posters, like West Side Story, Superman, Excalibur and Apocalypse Now.

Has your native Gozo influenced your work?
Yes, I think it shows very much. Back home, I was surrounded by water, much like I am here in East Hampton. I think the culture shows as well. I left in 1974, so it’s been awhile since I’ve actually lived there. But I visit often. Usually every two years I go. It’s part of Malta, where I also had an exhibition at the National Museum of Fine Arts.

Where can readers view your work?
I do a lot of work for The Fisherman Magazine. I’m their main artist. I do design and some featured art for them. I also have some work on display at Salon Xavier, a high-end hair salon in Sag Harbor. There are about 20 pieces there. For originals or prints, readers can also go to my website.

To see more of Savio Mizzi’s work, visit saviofineart.com.

October 28, 2016 Dan's Papers cover art (detail) by Savio Mizzi
October 28, 2016 Dan’s Papers cover art by Savio Mizzi

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