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Artist And Libertarian Alex Ranniello


Libertarian artist

How long have you been making your art? How did you get into it?


Alex Ranniello: I have been a professional portrait & figure painter since 2017. I went to undergraduate school at The University of Hartford - Hartford Art School to study painting and drawing. During my time pursuing my bachelor’s there, I also received dual minors in Ceramics & Art History so I’ve always been passionate about the arts and working with my hands.


What are your influences? Who or what inspires you?


Alex: I love summertime themes and west coast painters. Ever since I was a kid I grew up enamored with California, the creativity, the vegetation, the sports, the culture, the wildlife all of it. I grew up idolizing painters such as David Hockney, Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Theibaud, but especially Menri Matisse who inspired me in terms of use in color and his style to convey everyday interior life through an impressionistic style.


Outside of visual arts, I am heavily influenced by the punk rock scene over the last three decades - I grew up loving bands like Green Day, The Offspring, Sum41, The Sex Pistols, etc. Having a father who was a jazz drummer his whole career and those particular musical roots gave me a tremendous anthology of musical inspiration to choose from. In addition to music I love the podcast ecosystem. Particular voices such as Dave Smith, Clint Russell, Charlie Robinson, Jimmy Dore, and Sam Tripoli really inspire me to keep on creating despite roadblocks or impediments.


Lastly im a tremendously enthusiastic book nerd at heart. When I discovered Dave Smith a few years ago now, I started picking up Hans Herman Hoppe, Murray Rothbard, Ludwig Von Mises that eventually lead me deeper into reading Henri Hazlitt, Walter Block, David Friedman, and so many other amazing authors.



Do you create art with a specific message, or do you prefer art for arts sake?


Alex: With a liberty-inspired predisposition, I always tend towards ‘loud’ poses and color palettes in my paintings since it reflects my values and personality of being bold and brash with whatever I do. Art for me is all about being proactive rather than reactive; Keeping a pulse on the culture regardless of what medium is at your fingertips. When Im not painting on canvas in my studio, Im working on a mural/public art installation for the community, or I am conducting painting workshops for kids at pop-up events. When working with others in a mural or workshop environment, that's typically where I have more of a liberty-inspired conversational discourse and that really excites me.



What is your creative process like? What tools and methods do you use to make your art?


Alex: I do work a Monday-Friday Sales position in hospitality. On the weekends is where I attribute full 8 hour days towards my studio practice consisting of putting together compositions, doing research, prepping surfaces, mapping out my subjects, and actually getting to work. My tools and methods are pretty standard, I use a projector for some precision details or scaling up proportions, but typically its just painting and brushes.


My current series of work is all consisting of heavy-body acrylic paints on canvas, but I also work with oils, color pencils, charcoals & conte, india ink, watercolor, and I am just starting to dip into collage with a parallel series of work I am working on.


How long have you considered yourself a libertarian?


Alex: Being 29 years old, I just missed the boat of the 2008 Ron Paul revolution that so many of my older friends in this sphere relate with in regards to their a-ha metamorphosis; I’ve always gone against the grain, and been irreverent towards authority, however it began approximately around 2017, when former president Trump took office, because I was heavily investigating a third option that resonated with me; But when the lockdowns came in 2020, that essentially blew open the floodgates severely red-pilling me and clarified my hatred for the state in a focuses and precise way.


What do you think the role of art should be in the libertarian movement?


Alex: Art should be the essential vehicle (in all forms) for spreading our message to the average person. There is a reason why people like Dave Smith, Clint Russell, Eric July, or Michael Malice (to name a few) are so successful in delivering our message. They know the philosphy, they've internalized our values, and they cast out and reach people on a deeper more trust-based level without lecturing people in a submissive way. They use the tools at their fingertips to elevate their voice and that is what I am trying to contribute through my vehicle of painting.



What upcoming events or projects are you working on?


Alex: I am working on painting some local electrical boxes in my town where kids can each paint a panel. Each one has a different design, but all inspired by liberty and individual expression. I want the young kids to have a great time, be hands-on beyond the classroom, touch grass (as they say), and recognize that the future is bright when we take ownership and responsibility of our lives and future.


Where can people go to view and purchase your art?


Alex: I have an Instagram, Facebook Page, and Website! My instagram is essentially the most live and up to date in terms of the galleries and local businesses I am currently showcasing at.


 
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