John Carollo began studying Watercolor in college at the University of North Texas under the instruction of the internationally renowned artist Rob Erdle. Having initially approached the medium with a goal of producing realistic works, a summer study trip to Europe quickly cured those impulses. During the course of the journey, and continuing upon his return, John’s work took on an increasingly expressive, stylistic flair, meant to convey the mood, emotion, and essence of a scene rather than a literal interpretation of what the eyes might be recording. His loose, free-flowing style allows the water and paint to often move on its own with minor guidance, in a technique he calls Controlled Chaos. The end result showcases watercolor’s unique properties of translucency and atmospheric effect.
Since 2005, John has shown his work extensively in numerous venues in Texas, Georgia and the Central Florida area, including the CityArts Factory, Maitland Art Center, and Mount Dora Center for the Arts, as well as through collaboration with Voci modern dance company. In both 2007 and 2012 he was awarded prestigious United Arts of Central Florida Artist Development Grants, for his work with large-scale watercolor (over 6’) and 3D kinetic sculpture. The latter area has been a continuing source of exploration for the artist, with his work evolving from shaped paper and wire constructions to very large suspended pieces created from hand-painted silk, twisted aluminum and stainless steel. The largest of these to date at over 13’ x 16’, Icarus Ascends, premiered in 2013 and was designed for expansive atrium and transit center public art spaces.
Beginning in 2010, much of John’s creative energy has gone into The Figure As Vehicle, a travelling two-person collaborative exhibition with sculptor Marsha De Broske. Containing nearly 50 works by the two artists, all featuring the human figure in various interpretations, the show portrays the body as a vehicle for conveying messages to the viewer through mood, contemplation, personal connection and understanding. Ever-changing, the project highlights both artists’ ability to capture the essence of motion in their work, and has to-date been shown six times throughout Florida and Georgia at galleries, colleges and centers for the arts.