Dan’s Papers Cover Artist Savio Mizzi on Surrealism & Fish

Savio Mizzi's art on the cover of the April 23, 2021 Dan's Papers issue.
Savio Mizzi's art on the cover of the April 23, 2021 Dan's Papers issue.

Cover artist Savio Mizzi talks about his striking surrealistic work, how he incorporates his other passion—fishing—into his art and more.

What was the inspiration for this piece?
First of all, I’m a captain so I fish a lot. I combine fishing into my art. I was an illustrator for a long time and since I moved out here and started fishing I like to combine fishing with whatever I do.

Savio Mizzi
Savio Mizzi

Did your work or process change at all during the pandemic?
Not really. Obviously I painted more, but my process has stayed the same. I have been doing some more surrealism stuff, combining figures with fish.

What are some of your favorite things to do on the East End during the warmer months?
Obviously, No. 1, fishing! No. 2, fishing! I own a charter business too, I’m a captain, so I take people fishing. I love it. That’s my serenity. That’s how I spend my time, or on the beach, surf fishing too.

Talk a little about your surrealist work.
Gr0wing up, Dalí was always one of my favorite artists. The way my mind works, combining and intertwining objects like rock, stone and birds and fish and humans…it’s an interesting concept. I used to do a lot of book covers about horror and science fiction so that kind of lends itself into it. Let me put it this way—I’ll paint anything, but once I start coming up with ideas my thoughts wander and I start adding things and putting things together and develop a composition that winds up being very surrealistic. I like to do a lot of paintings of Montauk Lighthouse and Montauk itself. When I see the light hit the land and people fishing I can combine that in one scene.

You mentioned doing some horror and science fiction work.
Up until 15 years ago I was an illustrator and designer. I did a lot of book covers, a lot of editorial work. I’ve done stuff for quite a few magazines, movie posters, work for Time. That’s what I did for a living in the 70s, 80s and 90s. The business died down when computer graphics took over.

See more of Savio Mizzi’s work at saviomizziart.com.

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