Carlo Pittore (1943-2005) was a prolific painter, community activist, and internationally renowned mail artist who lived and worked in New York City, Southern Italy, and Bowdoinham, Maine. Over the course of his 30 year career as a painter, Carlo created a prodigious body of portraits and nudes in the American figurative tradition. His corpus also includes mythological and comedic treatments, abstract and multimedia works, and a large number of pencil studies. As a pioneer of the mail art movement in the 1970s, he contributed work to over one thousand mail art exhibitions and corresponded with such mail art luminaries as Buster Cleveland and Ray Johnson. Carlo was influential in the Maine and New York art communities of the 1970s and 80s, founding Maine’s first statewide artist membership organization, the Union of Maine Visual Artists, and opening one of the first independent art galleries in the East Village, La Galleria dell’Occhio. During this period, Carlo began to experiment in film, theater, and spoken word performance, and participated in international performance art events in New York and Europe. Friends, students, and colleagues featured prominently in his paintings, and his subjects included such figures as street artist Keith Haring and performance artist Bern Porter.
Carlo was trained at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from 1963-66 and subsequently studied at the Portland School of Art in Maine and the Chelsea College of Art in London. The artist, born Charles Stanley, changed his name to Carlo Pittore
(Charles the Painter) while residing in Italy in the early 1970s, where he practiced figurative art in Monticello and at the Academia di Belle Arte in Rome. As a recipient of the 1977-78 Max Beckman Scholarship in Advanced Painting, Carlo continued his studies under the tutelage of American modernist Alice Neel at the Brooklyn Museum Art School in New York. Following this, he worked for two years as an artist and teacher at the New York Cultural Foundation. In 1987 he established The Academy of Carlo Pittore in Bowdoinham, Maine, where his passion for painting and teaching inspired dozens of emerging artists. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts by the Maine College of Art in 2005.
The Carlo Pittore Foundation for the Figurative Arts is a non-profit, tax exempt, private 501(c)3 Foundation, established to promote and educate the public about the art of Carlo Pittore, and to support and stimulate figurative art and artists. Our mission is to ensure that Carlo's artwork, his passion for figurative art, and his belief concerning the role of art in society are more widely recognized and appreciated through greater public exposure; and to assist artists, artistic endeavors, art institutions and art exhibitors that celebrate the representation of the human figure.