Jeff Iorillo is a Los Angeles-based painter working in acrylic and enamel on canvas, masonite, and metal.
Jeff’s ongoing process exploration leads to distinct bodies of work with a bold abstract approach that investigates materials, mass and momentum, color and gesture. He is interested in seizing the viewer’s attention with immediate impact, then holding it with a dynamic technique and details that invite speculation.
Jeff has studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, and Otis College & Art Center in Los Angeles. His work is acquired by individuals and corporate collections from L.A. to Hong Kong to Mexico City, and is commissioned for commercial installations worldwide. He has been represented by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Art Rental & Sales Gallery, and his work is regularly selected by Hollywood set designers for television and cinema.
What do you first do when you get to the studio in the morning?
I turn on the lights and check whatever I left to dry the night before. Sometimes I turn on NPR or my own music, but usually I like it quiet.
How many paintings do you work on at a time?
Usually 3 or 4.
Do you have a dream project that you would like to work on?
Something big, maybe over 8 x 8 feet. I do a lot of commissions for public spaces based on my own originals, up to sizes of around 6 x 9 feet, so going a lot larger than that would be both a logistical and artistic challenge.
If you could paint with anyone, who would it be?
Some of the Action Painters of the 20th Century–like Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning. Both the techniques and the personalities would probably get pretty wild!
What’s your favorite way of generating ideas and inspiration?
I’m what’s known as a “process painter”, meaning it’s the actual process of moving the paint around that inspires my ideas. I’m always asking, “what happens if I do this” so each piece is a different answer. Much of my work is motivated by physical movements, with titles containing words like “Velocity” and “Momentum”. I am very aware of what my body and my breath are doing when I paint. The movement really motivates everything.
How has your art evolved over time?
I’d say my work has become more subtle in terms of composition and color as I’ve developed my techniques and learned more about mixing colors and creating more nuanced palettes for each piece.
What do you like most about your work?
My favorite pieces have a strong presence that feels confident and authentic.
What is one word that best describes your style?
Is there an idea you would like to explore?
I am constantly developing new ideas, like every day…I like working out a new direction by doing multiples, starting simple and getting progressively more complex and larger in size.
What is your favorite time of day to paint?
First thing in the morning. I’m an early riser, usually in the studio by 7 or 8 a.m.
Do you ever get “stuck” on a piece? If so, what do you do?
This sounds terrible, but I destroy things that aren’t working. At some point I can tell when a piece isn’t coming together and the result will be awkward and forced–so it’s better to get rid of it and start over. Kind of cathartic, actually!
What is up next on your easel?
A recent experiment involved building up multiple thick layers of transparent colors on top of each other, very wet and runny-feeling; I have some larger stretched canvases leaning against a wall, calling my name…