IVANO STOCCO / Urban Paintings & Design



My art is about living in the ordinary and everyday world, giving it attention, and unravelling the poetry in it. It's art that is accessible and relatable to most people where they are. It's been called "Edward Hopper with colour and collage" and "abstract expressionism you can still make out."

Were it music, I'd want it to be jazz or maybe folk noir. Were it writing, I'd want it to be creative non-fiction, about a hero's return to the familiar rather than their escape from it.

There's a novelty that comes pre-packaged and easy. "Yet the great thing," wrote Van Gogh in a diary entry called "Paint your garden as it is," "is to gather new vigour in reality."

Whether it's painting or more recently sculptural works in concrete, the subjects I draw on require effort, a wrestling and burrowing in deep to extract the gold. It's an approach that helps salve anxieties and strengthen love, in me and I hope the viewer as well.

Admittedly, the approach is somewhat Buddhist: 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 one's mind to experience reality as it is.

In this way, my artmaking can't be simply a way to pass time pleasantly. It's a deliberate practice as all-consuming as operating in a foreign language, though it's still very much play of sorts—serious play.


My quest to become a fulltime artist 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, 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.