May 9th, 2019
Jesse Gussow

The dark and macabre artwork skillfully created by Austin Rizzo is truly stunning. The line work is easily one the highlights of his work, with extremely thin lines allowing for heightened details and to create the smooth shapes for his subjects. The details are incredible with his incredible shading the faces just pop and are full of details and feel life like. This makes it feel as though the eyes of the piece are staring right into your soul causing it to fill with deep emotions.


The subject matter, while some might find offensive, is truly beautiful. The female characters are strong and sexy they take no shit and look good. These are the people that get harassed endlessly and can easily turn the tables and end you.





Where are you from?  

I'm originally from San Jose, California.  I currently live in Manchester, New Hampshire.  However, I am frequently in LA.


How did you get interested in art?  

My father is an exceptional artist.  Though my subject matter is a lot darker than his, I suppose I took after him.




What inspires your work?

Death, the predatory nature of human beings (both physical and mental).  My work is not to combat it, but to portray it through a neutral eye.





How would you describe your style?

I like to call my style Macabre Semi-realism.





What do you want people to feel/experience when they see your work?  

The darker side of human nature... with a pretty face.





Do you think your work is empowering?  

Probably not, though it depends on the viewer.  Many are appalled, others may see a disturbing image that's presented in the right light (so to speak).  If you're the latter...  maybe.





First time I saw a piece from you on Facebook someone was complaining that it wasn’t art? Do you often have people who take issue with your work? Furthermore, how does anyone have the audacity to claim your stunning imagery and line work is anything but gorgeous art?  

Yes. I'm often told my work is hateful toward women. It's not. It's this simple; if I draw a violent image I must chose to depict a man or a woman.  I choose women, not because I think they're weak or that men are superior, but simply because women often have softer features and in my opinion are easier on the eye.  





How long does it take to create a piece from start to finish? What is the whole process?

Somewhere between 6 to 10 hours.  Obviously that varies from time to time.  As for my process, I usually start with the eyes but that can change depending on the position of the face.  I then work my way down the body.





If you could have any super power what would you want?

Telekinesis would be pretty chill.





Do you use references for your work?  

I do.  It's not necessary for everything but one of those things is, I shit you not... elbows.

I know it sounds ridiculous but elbow placement baffles me.  





What are your favourite materials to work with?  

I generally use graphite on Bristol drawing paper.





What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?






How have you grown from when you first started to now?

One thing that sticks out is I used to be afraid to use heavy black or fill negative space.  I've gotten past that.





Who do you create your art for?  

Mainly aesthetics. It has to look interesting.  If someone understands the meaning, even better.





What would you like to become more proficient at?  

I'd like to improve in charcoal.





Are Instagram and Facebook killing art with their censorship or if you just play ball they are amazing tools to help you succeed? I think it's give and take.  

The censorship is unfortunate but the tradeoff is massive exposure if used correctly.





Do you prefer Oreo or Fudgee-O cookies?  

Oreo.  lol

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