12 Quotes from Pino on His Remarkable Career as an Artist

 In Art & Gallery News, Pino
"Birds of Paradise" (2008), Pino

“Birds of Paradise”

Pino is truly one of the modern masters of art.

From his humble beginnings in Italy to his inevitable international fame, Pino built an artistic career defined by his unforgettable depictions of love, family, and romance.

Though Pino emerged onto the world stage as an illustrator of book covers—becoming one of the biggest names in publishing—he eventually shifted his focus to creating works of fine art. Yet, as his career evolved, Pino’s commitment to beauty and excellence remained constant.

Pino working on one of his paintings.

Pino working on one of his paintings.

In celebration of Pino ‘s impact on the art world, here are 12 quotes from Pino himself, discussing his fascinating life as an artist in his own words.


On his earliest memories of making art…

“When I was eight, my older brother would have to draw for school. My father would wake me up after preparing all the colored pencils, and tell me to draw a boat with a fisherman and a sunset or some other scene.” (“Pino: Master Illustrator,” 2010)


On the best part of creating a new painting…

“When I get an idea or a solution, that’s the best part of the day. Number one, it means you’re still alive. Number two, that you will improve the quality of the painting.” (“Pino: Timeless Visions,” 2006)

"Gypsy Dancer" (2010), Pino

“Gypsy Dancer”

On what it was like to live as a struggling artist…

“I needed $325 to pay the rent, so I went door to door to Manhattan galleries trying to sell some paintings. I stumbled upon a gallery with an Italian name and in broken English, asked if they work with Italian artists. The owner said he did but only offered $300 for the painting. So I left, and walked 50 more blocks without success, until I turned around and went back to him. By then, the owner offered to pay only $250. I took it.” (2010)


On how he would start one of his famous book covers…

“An art director might say, ‘Pino, we need a mansion.’ We talk about the period, the mood. I try to put myself in the male’s shoes. It’s very easy for me. I’m good because I’m a romantic.” (People Magazine, 1996)


On the relationship between the artist and the models for his book covers…

“The model must be a base, and then the artist has to give a lot. They come from the heart. And the more you give, the more the readers, they love it.” (“Pino: A Contemporary Master,” 2012)

One of Pino's famous book covers displayed next to the artist's original painting for the cover.

One of Pino’s famous book covers displayed next to the artist’s original painting for the cover.


On how he defines himself as an artist…

“I am attracted by the abstract, but my sensibilities are fundamentally classical. If you put those together, you get Pino’s style. I am a psychological expressionist. I combine elements of academic, impressionistic, and abstract painting to depict the human condition.” (2010)


On his evolving art style…

“I used to paint in the academic way. Then I changed. I could no longer stay with just one school. Everything was interesting to me. I was curious about various schools of thought.” (2006)


On the difference between painting book covers and painting fine art…

“When I paint for a book cover for a company, there are so many limitations… When I paint in fine art for myself, of course, it’s totally free. No restrictions. In this, I can fly.” (2012)

"Esther," Pino



On the message of his art…

“The common denominator for my work is a focus on interior situations, moments when the spirit remains quiet and still to the noise and activity of nature and everyday life.” (2006)


On the nature of beauty…

“At the Academy of Brera, everything was drawing. I was obsessed with anatomy, sometimes fat people, sometimes skinny people. But the beauty comes from your imagination, the beauty is subjective.” (2010)

"Spring Flower"

“Spring Flower”


On why he often leaves a blank white spot on his canvases…

“I use it to emphasize the center of the painting, from the unfinished to the finished. Undefined areas emphasize the focus. That’s what abstract artists in the ’50s and ’60s did. I don’t want to be so literal, to finish everything. It’s graphic design; it’s complementary.” (2006)

"Secret Sharer"

“Secret Sharer”


On whether his wife ever grew envious of his romantic subject matter…

“She doesn’t get jealous. I’m very square. I don’t give her the opportunity to be jealous.” (1996)


The quotes from this article are taken from: “Of Brushstrokes and Bodices” from the February 19, 1996 issue of People Magazine; the book “Pino: Timeless Visions,” Classic Publications, 2006; the book “Pino: Master Illustrator,” Classic Publications, 2010; and the 2012 video “Pino: A Contemporary Master.”


If you’re interested in collecting the artwork of Pino, contact our gallery consultants at (800) 521-9654 ext. 4 during business hours or at sales@parkwestgallery.com.


Recommended Posts

Follow Us

for breaking news, artist updates, and special sale offers