Gregory Perillo is one of today’s most respected and renowned American Western artists. His powerfully dramatic, emotional depictions of Western landscapes and wildlife have made him one of America’s leading painters and sculptors.
Born in Greenwich Village, New York, in 1929, Perillo moved to Staten Island at the age two and has lived there for 86 years. Poverty stricken as a boy, he was forced to use paper bags as a ‘canvass.’ His first paint was actually coffee grinds. The earliest impressions of the American West came from his father, an immigrant, who was studying American History.
As a youngster, Perillo studied the works of the masters of American Western art, spending much of his time at the American Indian exhibit in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. After serving in the Navy during World War II through the GI bill, he began his formal art education. He attended the Pratt Institute, the School of Visual Arts and the Art Students League. Interestingly, Perillo’s most productive learning experience was spawned from a visit to Arizona in 1950, where he had a chance meeting with the legendary American master William Robinson Leigh. In what became almost a father-son relationship, Leigh taught Perillo, his only known pupil, for several years. Since then, Perillo has often traveled to Native American lands, where he spent time studying the culture and customs, as well as sketching the people and scenery. Mr. Perillo’s work is not confined to his love for the American West, he also has produced action portraits of iconic sports figures as well as historical paintings of Americans in military service.
Today, Gregory Perillo’s artwork hangs in hundreds of private and corporate collections, galleries and museums throughout the United States. Starting in the 1980s, his paintings have been reproduced in many different mediums, such as lithographs and limited editions collectibles. He paints canvases from miniature size to murals and his sculptures range in size from six inches to fourteen feet.
For the past two decades, he dedicated himself to philanthropic work, including donating his time and talents to the New York City Public School system, the Boy Scouts of America, American Parkinson Disease Association, 9/11 charities and many other charitable and humanitarian causes.