May 10, 2021
Dante Ferraro always knew he was going to be an artist. It was in his blood from a young age and with his mother being an art teacher he was able to blossom into the superstar he is today. Dante will paint anything, but won’t go over the level of step stool which is ok because his canvas pieces are enough to leave everyone wanting for more. We were first introduced to Dante’s work in the Merchant a local shop that artists sell their art out of. He had one of the Queen of England and another that always makes me feel like honey is going to drip on my head it’s that realistic. With many years of experience in the art world sitting down to talk to Dante was at first intimidating. I don’t know much about art, but love it enough to want to showcase it to as many people as I can, but Dante is a great example of why St. Pete, Florida’s art scene is so special and unique. Our artists are of high caliber here in our tiny city, but they are so extremely humble and pure, ready to talk to anyone who has an open ear.
His queen series contains thirty different photos all of which have the Queen of England doing all manners of things. The one of her sitting over a Burger King meal is hanging in the corporate office in Miami. He has her rocking with Ozzy, with a mugshot, dressed in lingerie, and even smoking a cigar. This series came to be when he was done with his Einstein piece and wanted someone who was older and had a ton of detail in the face and could be challenging, but his humor got in the way which is why she is in so many un-queen like positions. People love it though and to his knowledge even the Queen herself is aware of them. Dante says he likes painting the Queen because it’s cool to have fun with her which is not something anyone has done before. His first painting of the Queen sold right off the easel! While he thinks the queen may be done we are excited to see what or who he does next.
I think my most memorable moment with him was talking about the time he was painting in a local restaurant. He felt the need to paint on newspaper that day. While working on his painting of Marilyn Monroe a young girl came up and watched him work. Being a cool dude he asks if she would like to help him at all. While they were painting together the young girls grandmother comes in from the patio and begins to cry. Sounds crazy right? Apparently the family had just suffered a death in the family and the mother and grandmother were overjoyed that the young girl could have at least one happy memory during this time. But it gets even better, remember he was painting on newspaper and he just happen to be painting on the obituaries that day. Right in between the eyes of Marilyn Monroe was the name of their family member. That painting hangs in the living room of her home and to him that was the wildest experience of his life.
Diving into the minds of the people who make our city so fun and special is always a cool experience. Without its local art St.Pete would be like every other spot in the world. You can find Dante on Instagram and Facebook and listen to his full interview with us on our podcast Good Morning St Pete.