Ask Giovanni DeCunto what inspires his art.
“Ugh life. Breathing.”
He’ll tell you his heroes.
“It’s my purpose. My soul. It’s why I’m here.”
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Giovanni DeCunto, an Italian American born and raised in Lawrence, said many of his heroes are Black, and brown, including James Brown.
“I remember I was in the 8th grade I was like holy (expletive)...him & James Brown! I used to run home to see James Brown dance. I couldn’t believe how this guy could dance.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. was another inspiration.
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“Gandhi led his people to where they needed to be and lifted them up. This guy did the same thing. When all the opposition that was going on.”
The civil rights icon’s belief in embracing all backgrounds is one held by DeCunto.
“If you take your time to judge the person next to you you’re not taking the step forward to manifest positive change and positive reaction that will come in the world," he told NBC10 boston.
A world this lifelong artist feels is influenced by hip-hop.
“The energy that’s coming out in the world right now has been hip-hop for a while. It’s the newest movement that’s come out. It’s undeniable.”
Bob Marley, Jimmy Hendrix, Rihanna and Jay Z surround his studio.
“I don’t listen to praise and I don’t listen to critics. I sort of learned that from Jay Z. Just do your thing and watch what happens.”
That’s what happening when he grabs his tubes.
“I just take the tubes of paint and I squeeze it on the canvas.”
That’s landed his art in the hands of presidents, actors, athletes and entertainers.
“I try to paint all the people that contributed to making who we are and what we are and where we’re going. In a positive note.”
DeCunto’s art needs no light to shine, but he uses his gift to shine light on how we’re more alike than different.
“People like Da Vinci. I read him every day as I listen to Jay z. There’s a balance going on all the time.”
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