Don Lisy: “Follow Your Own Vision”

Artist name: Don Lisy

Featured Work 1:  “Politically Transmitted Disease,” Oil, Charcoal on Paper


Don Lisy’s works capture a  unique interaction between an artist and his medium during a single painting session. Bold, vivid brushstrokes weave and tangle positive and negative space, building striking, emotive compositions. The final pieces are guttural and vulnerable, offering viewers an intimate and intense visual encounter.

Featured Works Slideshow:

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5 Questions for the Artist:

1. What is art to you?

Art is one of the few things in life which allows people like me to not follow the rules as well as the freedom to articulate ideas and concepts we feel necessary

2. What did you make in the past and why?

In the past, I’ve made lithographs, etchings, drawings and paintings. I took printmaking as an elective during my second year of art school and got hooked. So, I became a printmaking major at The Cleveland Institute of Art. As for drawings and paintings, upon taking a semester off from CIA, I didn’t have the facilities available for printmaking, so I decided to go back to my roots — drawing and painting — which has led me to where I am today.

3. What are you making now and why?

I’m working on a series of new paintings which are larger, more colorful and energetic then anything I have ever produced that I will be previewing this summer in NYC!

4. What are your hopes for the future?

To continue being inspired my the incredible gift I was given to paint. Maybe inspire a young artist or two along the way!

5. What else would you like to say?

My advise to artists is to follow your own vision and to articulate without being
concerned with sales and acceptance of the art world. There are so many ways to find your audience these days but collectors, gallerists and curators I have worked with look for work that has a point of view.

Artist Supplied Background:

Don Lisy was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and creates his art as if revolting against the Midwest sensibilities that dominate the critical and popular mind sets of his hometown. Don attended the Cleveland Institute of Art where he studied Printmaking and Painting. Don’s work has been compared to the New York school of action painters however, Don’s work is not derivative from any one school. Each of Don’s works are created in one session. By immediately succumbing to the emotional energy that inspires his work, Don feels he is best able to represent that emotion if he can complete the work before the feeling dissipates. Each resulting work is more of a self portrait of an emotional event rather than an image concerned with aesthetics.

Don’s first visit to New York City was in December 1993. Over the years he often returned to NYC for group exhibitions and also performances with his band. It was during a visit in 2001 that Don connected with New York on a new level which planted the seed that one day he must live there. In the spring of 2010, Don left family and friends in Cleveland and made the permanent move to Brooklyn where he continues to dedicate himself to his own personal artistic vision. In December 2016, after an over decade long absence, Don re-established a studio in Cleveland. Don’s work has been exhibited across the United States and internationally in Germany, Italy and Spain.

Explore Lisy’s work on Facebook and Instagram.


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Don Lisy is represented by PR for Artists.
5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers

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