Ferdinando (Fred) Spina, ASA
My influences are diverse. As a child I was brought to art galleries and historical sites by my parents. By the time I was eight years old I had visited many of the major art galleries and museums in Italy. My parents also brought me to Canadian and North American and Mexican art venues, so in a way I was well educated and experienced in art at a young age. My father was also a painter, so there was always something creative going on in our household.
Later in my earlier teens I began to travel and continued to do so to this day. My initial ability and learning to draw came in the early 1970ies when I followed a street artist around in Amsterdam and learned to do portraits on the street and get paid for it. I set up my chairs and positioned myself outside the Van Gogh Museum and was able to gain a lot of experience as well as some cash doing portraits of tourists.
My major influences ore those I gain trough travel to Asia, South America, Europe and here in Canada working with the Inuit of Nunavut. (I have worked for the Nunavut Government as a Mental Health Consultant and Social Worker for the last twelve years) I sometimes work with Inuit carvers and am influenced greatly by their tradition and artistic sensibilities – they in turn are also influenced by me.
Most of the year is spent outside Alberta either traveling or working in the Arctic; this affords me the opportunity to be visually stimulated on a constant basis. I also write short stories and poetry and often times a painting will suggest a poem. I am currently working on my second book of painting and poetry
hopefully to be published.
As far as other artists that have influenced me I would have to say the Latin artists of Mexico and South America, Edward Burra, Stanley Spencer, Francis Bacon, Marc Chagall, numerous Canadian Inuit Artists.
My most fruitful and I feel successful body of work I have done was done for the last two one man shows in 2014 and 2015 at the Art Point Gallery here in Calgary Alberta. I am inching closer to what I have been wanting to do artistically and these last two shows I feel have been examples of what I am
striving to do.
In the past I have been represented by the Vorpal Gallery in New York and San Francisco. Gallery Moos in Calgary and Toronto, the Harrison Gallery in Calgary and Vancouver.