IVANO STOCCO / Urban Paintings & Design



If my art wasn't visual but a written story, the tale wouldn't be so much about the hero's flight into the unknown as the return to the familiar, and the ups and downs involved in readjusting to and thriving in the everyday. The title would be something like Ways of Return and the genre, creative non-fiction.

In music, the term folk noir has been used to describe the work, as has "Edward Hopper with colour and collage."

To my mind, there's a novelty that comes pre-packaged and easy: by heading to the mall, tweaking a look, or losing oneself in the digital world and succumbing to fantasy. "Yet the great thing," Van Gogh wrote in a diary entry called "Paint your garden as it is," "is to gather new vigor in reality."

My art, whether it's paintings or more recently works in concrete, aims to see poetically in SUB-OPTIMAL conditions. Rather than sidestep the familiar or the difficult, the idea is to tackle it head on, then turn it around and wring some beauty out of it, hoping that this will in some way salve my anxieties and strengthen my love, as well as those of the viewer. If you will, it's a little Buddhist, as in the law of dharma: suffering arises from craving, the way to free oneself from suffering is to free oneself from craving, and the way to free oneself from craving is to train the mind to experience reality as it is.

Also, the art-making goes beyond a hobby or way to pass time pleasantly. It's serious play and a deliberate practice I've committed to and is as all-consuming as operating in a foreign language. Rather than wider and thinner, it's about burrowing down for me.


My quest to become a fulltime artist 11 years ago followed a winding path. I hold a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Guelph, an M.A. in History from York University, and a B.Ed. from the University of Toronto. I was a high school teacher, computer programmer, and translator interspersed between bouts of formal study in painting and drawing in Valencia, Spain and Toronto, Canada.

Today, my artworks can be found in public and private collections in Britain, Canada, Italy, Spain, and the United States—all countries in which I have lived and worked. I've won numerous awards for my plein air work.

Raised in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, just outside of Toronto, I currently reside in the L.A. area with my spouse, Aitana Guia, a professor at California State University, Fullerton and with our two daughters.


If you ask me it'd be more revealing to list my failures, rejections, and snubs, but we don't want to crash the server. Instead, here's my regular CV.