Dan’s Papers Cover Artist Savio Mizzi Paints an Expressionist Christmas

December 15, 2017 Dan's Papers cover art (detail) by Savio Mizzi
December 15, 2017 Dan's Papers cover art (detail) by Savio Mizzi

If you’re looking for this week’s cover artist, Savio Mizzi, he’s probably at his East Hampton studio, hard at work. When we reached out for this week’s interview that’s where he was. When asked if he was there every day, he simply responded, “Yes definitely,” as if we should have already known.

When Mizzi came to the United States from the island of Gozo, part of the Island county of Malta in the Mediterranean, in 1974 he attended art school where he was taught the ins-and-outs of advertising, graphic design and illustration which led to a 35-year career that field. “I combined art, illustration and design,” he said, adding “I did whatever I had to do to get into the art business.” Eventually he found his way to East Hampton, where he lives and creates now. “I grew up on the water,” Mizzi said. “Gozo is a very tiny island that’s why I love living here because of the water, the sea. That’s also why I fish a lot, it’s my hobby.”

Savio Mizzi self portrait
Savio Mizzi self portrait

How would you describe your style?
If you want to call it a name, to me it’s like a combination of surrealism and abstraction. But I like to paint. So if I want to paint fish I’ll paint fish. If I decide to paint a landscape, I’ll paint a landscape. I’m not tied into anything I just paint what I like to paint, whatever comes to mind. I do a lot of sketches for my drawings for that reason. That’s how I create my ideas.

It varies. If you feel like doing a watercolor, or a mixed-media piece, or an oil it takes you where it wants to take you once you start working on it. You never know where it’s going to lead. I use mixed media a lot so I could use charcoal with watercolor or pencil with watercolor or mix oils and acrylics. It depends on the mood.

Do you prefer working in one medium?
I love watercolor. I like to work with watercolor and mixed media where it is line drawing with watercolor. But I really don’t have a preference.

Is there one historical art school/movement which you identify with the most and what attracts you to that movement?
I’m always drawn to the Impressionists like Sargent, Winslow Homer and Monet. I’m drawn to the color and the composition. These guys lived for their art. They could draw and paint like you wouldn’t believe. Looking at their work even today it’s very impressive the light they use in their work, which brings out the color. I also love the Renaissance period, but I’m more of a traditional, modern artist.

Is there one piece of art you have not seen that you would like to see in person?
There’s a lot of them, but I’d say The Sistine Chapel. I’ve been there, but never inside. I’ve been to Rome two times. The first time the Pope had died, so they closed the Sistine Chapel. The other time the line was way too long and I would have had to wait forever. Talk about a painting! But I like good art so it’s hard to be too specific. There is a lot of good art out there and a lot of good artists. So I don’t care who did it. I don’t look at names. I look at the work itself. Art is a very personal thing.

To see more of Mizzi’s work, visit his website, savio-mizzi.pixels.com. If you love Mizzi’s style, he also works on commission. To find out more, email him at [email protected].

December 15, 2017 Dan's Papers cover art by Savio Mizzi
December 15, 2017 Dan’s Papers cover art by Savio Mizzi

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