Art Bonanno is an American Filmmaker, Artist, Graphic Designer, Musician and Educator. A New York City native, Art won an award for his artwork at the age of five and began painting at eight. He was a graffiti artist during the early days of the movement in his hometown of the Bronx. He stopped writing in 1975 to fully commit to the pursuit of a career in the arts.

He began to secure first professional assignments during high school. After graduating Mr. Bonanno attended university in Purchase, New York to study painting and design. While there Art began collaborating with jazz and rock musicians, his introduction to design of LP, 45, CD and cassette packaging, performance posters and postcards.

While at SVA Art began a series of works in a modern day “Folk Art” style in 1980. The crude stylistic underpinnings of the works were designed to reflect the tradition of folk art storytelling and widen the potential for encompassing scenes without the compositional restraints of the photorealistic style of his student work. Featured in gallery exhibitions and illustration commissions for publications including Esquire, GQ and The Village Voice. Mr. Bonanno received an Art Director’s Guild award for his work with National Lampoon. He completed his final works in the series in 1990.

He also began the study of a wide range of creative disciplines, including digital artwork, video, motion graphics and music. His study of video included experimental projects with associates including Keith Haring during his two years at SVA, assisting the artist as cameraman on one of his early performance painting videos. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in 1980 and was awarded the institution’s Rhodes Family Award for outstanding students.

Upon graduation he set to work on a prolific career in graphic design work in 1980. Art pursued Graduate study in computer graphics and animation and mastered the first Macintosh systems beginning in 1981. He secured his first assignment as Art Director in 1981 and has held numerous positions as Art Director and Creative Director over the next four decades. Mr. Bonanno has created artwork and design for prominent recording artists including James Brown, John Mayall, independent musicians, book covers for Simon & Schuster and McGraw Hill, television design and graphics for Blue Man Group, multimedia design for Sony and Microsoft and worked with clients in theatre, technology, finance, advertising, travel, non-profit and civic entities.

Art co founded a band called Fred in 1986, which became popular for it’s live performances in the New York area. After leaving the group in 1987 he began work on his own compositions and recordings.

He began to produce independent short video works in 1986 and was an early adopter of digital video editing. He worked as an editor and created motion graphics for PolyGram Records, production companies and advertising agencies.

He initiated a new body of artwork centered around words and phrases in 1987. Influenced by graffiti, hobo signs from the Great Depression and his work in graphic design and typography. This evolved into an experiment in the creation of a universal symbol language implemented in drawings, paintings, graphics, and printed works, resulting in a series of icons depicting character types and events archetypal of the cycle of life. The symbol language project served as a springboard for the transition of his fine artwork from painting to digital media and was used in the packaging and music video for his first collection of original music “Circus Inside The House”. His second collection, “Sounds Like This” was released in 2001. Art produced six music videos in support of that album.

Mr. Bonanno work in film and video expanded to the production and direction of documentaries, promotional works, narrative films and additional music videos in 2000. He has received several awards for his productions. During the decade he also worked as a Broadcast Video Editor on several television series including Dan Rather Reports.

Building on the foundation of his work in short form films, he began work on a feature length screenplay in 1998 and initiated a second, in which energy plays a central theme, in 2003. The copious research on the project led to a shift in focus of his work to contributing to fostering the adoption of renewable energy resources. Over the following two decades he collaborated with solar companies, biodiesel groups, educational institutions and energy technology firms. His passion for sustainability expanded to building technologies in 2006. He began designing concepts for low cost shipping container homes and collaborated in educational presentations on Passivhaus technology, donating his talents to community groups and educational institutions.

As part of these efforts he began a project on the history of human energy use, creating a series of thirty two digital abstract works on the topic. The large scale high resolution images completed in 2017 are accompanied by a detailed open source verbal timeline he curates online as an evolving historical and educational document.

His artwork has been the subject of numerous exhibitions in New York City, Westchester, New York, Connecticut, Miami, California and Europe.

Upon completion of the postapocalyptic black comedy screenplay “ReInCarNation” and several attempts to get the film into production, he returned to his first effort, a 1970s historical drama (working title) “Written on the Wallz”. With the screenplay complete that film is now heading into production. Art is also in the early stages of development of a third feature, and as yet untitled 1960s comedy reimagining.


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