A Man who Painted for Himself

“Freedom is an elusive word. Very easy to throw around but actually to do it and be it is not easy.”

Gino Hollander

The romantic flare of an incredible and exotic art evokes your senses to their penultimate urge, craving for the unexpected. Gino Hollander made sure to depict it in his paintings, through the choice of bruised and brazened brushes.480px-Gino_Hollander_(in_2010)

Gino Hollander–the man was born in America in 1924, August 4. Looking back at 1924, there is no record of any historical event, which took place on the day Gino Hollander was born. August 3, cyclist Piet Moeskops regained the world sprint championship and on August 5, Little Orphan Annie, a comic strip by Harold Gray made its debut and in the midst, the uncelebrated day. The day, a man of immense talent and defying authority announced his presence by making that date his day.

Be wild and eccentric in the quotidian occurrences is what Hollander is screaming at you in his paintings. 

At the age of 37, he quitted a successful career of filmmaking and decided to pick a paintbrush (which he didn’t even know how to hold) to paint and as Hollander said “If you like it do it more, if you don’t like it, stop it, change, there isn’t anything more than that,” and that’s exactly what he did. People may refer to him as a mad man by leaving a successful career to live in Spain when even his wife was carrying their fifth child in her womb at that time. A tough period, but, a needy and desperate one too, pushed the artist in him to teach himself swim with colors.

He escaped death during WWII in a mountain combat in Northern Italy and credited luck for his survival. Instances of such kind shape your life in a way which is depicted in your work ethics and Hollander’s work is no different in that regards. He put the honest emotions in his art which subtly created the mood of the atmosphere he had been in.

He was an eccentric man who had a rebellious and flamboyant style, colored with shades of his adventurous life and my indulgence with his art is my intimacy with great art, as it awakens my dulled senses.

The portraits of G. Hollander are edgy and not restrained by any rules of the art ethos. His style of abstract expressionism in a sense dare you to be different and dare you to be you, irrespective of what the people from the third planet think and state. Be wild and eccentric in the quotidian occurrences is what Hollander is screaming at you in his paintings.

Gino_Hollander_Bearded_Man__1965_52x33

“I chose to paint for the immediacy of the moment the medium can allow – its immediacy of expression. I find my deepest moments are of feeling and that is what I strive for in my painting. The art of painting provides me with a constant mirror of my being – both successes and failures, the good moments and bad. I prefer to paint it all as it comes. Painting takes on a rhythm like breathing: loose, tight, whatever. Living and painting become one. I believe in the universality of art’s function, a heritage of involvement of everyone – the youngest to the oldest, the artist, the viewer. A subliminal communication of feelings about the human condition. My paintings are expressly directed to evoke an emotional reaction from the viewer.”

Gino Hollander

The splashes of the vibrant colors and the way it drips on the canvas is a sight worth seeing to treasure. The canvas is a motion of cacophony in sync, disturbingly figurative yet enamoring. G. Hollander loved listening to the strokes of the brush as to him it was like dancing to the music not everyone could hear.


He refused to title his paintings. He thought, “there is nothing verbal about a canvas. A painting is simply one way to express a feeling and feelings can only be made less Gino_Hollander_Las_Mujeres_1979if they are talked to death.” –A wise man with his impertinent words.

Gino Hollander died at the age of 91, on August 27, 2015. He lived a life full of passion and vigor with a fierce individualistic personality of his own. His paintings seem like the art of a complex man, portrayed with simplicity and delirious impunity. He was an eccentric man who had a rebellious and flamboyant style, colored with shades of his adventurous life and my indulgence with his art is my intimacy with great art, as it awakens my dulled senses.


Photos Credit: Art Brokerage, WikiMedia Commons.

Citations: Gino Hollander – Biography. 2016. Gino Hollander – Biography. Available at: rogallery.com/Hollander_Gino/hollander_bio.htm.
Biography. 2016. Biography. Available at: ginohollander.org/sitepages/pid102.php.
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