Born in 1976, Piacente demonstrated an avid interest in art at a very early age. He began developing his unconventional artistic signature that would later dominate both his digital and fabric canvases by first working in pencil on paper, conté on paper and oil on canvas; eventually moving into the digital art space during his studies at the International Academy of Design for Advertising and Graphic Design–an influence that would later impact his unique approach to art and art production.
After finishing his post-secondary studies at the Academy, Piacente focused on his career in advertising and graphic design, as well as commercial artwork, working with the NHL, NHLPA and Nascar. It wasn’t until he attended The Artist Project Toronto and ArtExpo NY that his passion for creating non-commercial art would be reignited. He began experimenting by producing his own digital art pieces focusing on the female form. The works are transformation-driven, beginning with a photograph taken by the artist as the base image. This image is then manipulated and distorted digitally in an attempt to create malleability through both the tool and the viewer.
Piacente is a proactive, self-actualized artist whose execution of the human form demonstrates his many influences, from Impressionism and Cubism to commercial art and modern media. He uses the energy of his surroundings and the cities he visits to drive his work, depicting subjects who are often caught in some in-between world where decadence and delusion, privilege and deprivation intermingle to create new experiences of the human emotional state.
New York is the epicentre of Piacente’s art world—ground-zero for his artistic instinct and drive—while Toronto is its soul. He continually draws inspiration from the cities that have captivated his imagination and artistic energy—from the auburn and pink hues at sunset in Calabria and Puglia during his one-month stay in Italy, to the dreamlike landscapes and surrealist architecture he discovered during his stint in Miami and Long Beach, California.
Piacente’s use of colour, contrast, shape and composition demonstrate a sense of exuberance and bravado. His abstract reconstructions of the human form highlight the intricate complexities of our relationship with both society and ourselves, in particular, the self-doubt that wreaks havoc on the human psyche.
The inherent sensuality to Piacente’s work is part of the larger narrative of his collections, often experimenting with various styles and mediums—from oil-on-canvas to dye-sublimation on aluminum—allowing him to explore his vision and identity, and how the two converge depending on subject matter, materials, and ultimately the viewer.