Artist incorporates graffiti, Chinese lettering in exhibit

By Guy D’Astolfo


WARREN — Youngstown artist Jim Pernotto has found inspiration in graffiti and Chinese calligraphy.

About 30 of Pernotto’s latest works can be seen in his latest exhibition, entitled Angles of Decadence, which opens Sunday at Trumbull Art Gallery, 196-8 E. Market St.

All of the works were created since 2006, when the Butler Institute of American Art presented a career retrospective of Pernotto’s art.

Pernotto, who maintains a studio in downtown Youngstown, explained that Chinese calligraphy “has been working its way into my images.”

The graffiti influence has its roots in New York City, where Pernotto lived and worked from 1994 to 2004.

“A lot of my friends are graffiti writers [or artists] in the Bronx,” said Pernotto, admitting there is aerosol paint in some of the pieces.

The artist said he begin “writing” graffiti in a stream of consciousness fashion. The works became the finished products in the Trumbull exhibition.

The paintings and works on paper in Angles of Decadence are abstract, as is typical of Pernotto’s work. “Meaning needs to be brought to my paintings [by the viewer],” he said.

Angles of Decadence, curated by John Noga, will be on display through April 19. An opening reception will be from 2-4 p.m. Sunday. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

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