Los Angeles is home to many players in the art world. One prodigious talent from the City of Angels is painter, Isaac Pelayo. The 24-year-old artist has found a unique style that harks back to the renaissance period while producing decidedly 21st-century imagery.
Isaac Pelayo was destined to be an artist. The signs were there even during his youngest days. When other kids were playing football and pretending to be the next great NFL star, Pelayo was constantly drawing and dreaming about 15th century Florence. “I remember exactly how I felt the first time I came face-to-face with a master painting,” Pelayo recalls. “I was stunned and left with a burning obsession.” That obsession was turned into a thriving career.
Bouncing from house to house, Isaac grew up in all around Southern California. His mother raised him, and He frequently visited his father in Los Angeles. As a kid, he was confused and solitary. His suburban and low-income households widened Isaac's vision on life.
He had to switch schools almost every year, which allowed him to adapt to new environments and the people who came with it, so he sharpened his adaptability skill. Isaac grew up among a few friends and family, so he quickly became comprehensive to conversations held by adults and those older than him, which has contributed to his early appreciation and understanding of entrepreneurial endeavors.
His father, Antonio Pelayo exposed him to art at a very early age. He even considered the ‘Art Gallery’ as his second home. As a child he never craved to go to amusement parks or sports events, He just wanted to visit museums and art galleries.
“There is something about a wall accompanied by a masterpiece that transcended us back into time and into our own imagination.” – Isaac quoted.
The earliest documented interest he had in art was drawing a face when he was just two. Art is the only thing that comforted him; he was the kid in class who sat in the far back corner drawing in his sketchbook during lectures. It is like Art and Isaac complete each other, go hand in hand, and he knew he couldn’t live without it.
Being an artist, he was also a realist, extremely self-driven, and hungry for progress. Antonio, his father, was a self-taught artist, and Isaac also forged that path for himself and became a self-taught genius. By the time he was 16 years old, he had become proficient with his technical skill with pencils. After two years in college, Isaac dropped out and decided to recruit brushes and start painting for himself. Although he knew very little about paintings, he was determined to learn.
After painting every day for an entire year, he had a great understanding of oil painting, and he immediately became a painter. Painting with oils elevated his craft vastly and even landed him in the collections of Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jeff Hamilton, Westside Gunn, Hopsin, and Shepard Fairey, however he purchased a pencil drawing.
Isaac’s work changed over the years as far as style goes; his focus and study have always been figurative, faces, and people. “Portrait is the art that mostly speaks to me,”- said Isaac. Masterpieces by Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Velazquez, and Rubens inspired him, and he knew he wanted to make art like that, Art that could depict real breathing living flesh and bone.
He was also significantly influenced by street art and graffiti, Capturing the vulnerabilities in humans and combining unlikely forms of Art. “As I grow older, that influence shows more in my work. Lately, my work has been more free-flowing and from the subconscious heart oppose to me working the subject matter and composition out in my mind.”- Isaac.
He considers himself grateful to have seen his work end up in amazing places and publications during such a young age. His mural “SAINT KOBE” of the late Kobe Bryant has grabbed a lot of attention throughout International media. “I had no intentions of that piece reaching great audiences, but it found its way to ESPN, Sports Center, LA Times, and in many tribute videos across the globe.” His work has also been commissioned and used for several album covers by Buffalo, NY, Rapper Westside Gunn.
The new body of work he is currently developing has shown wild success. The work is the result of experimentation and meeting a freer flow approach. Inspired by The Renaissance, Baroque, and Street Art movement, he has combined the three eras into a form and style of art; he likes to describe it as ‘Street Baroque’ or ‘Classical Expressionism.’
“Using elements of realism, Rembrandt lighting, and wild style gestures through oil pastels, I’m playing with the idea of collaboration with oneself,” said Isaac. “The parts of me that reflect consciousness and sophistication vs. the parts of me that are defiant, careless, and subconscious.”
Collectors from Ireland, Germany, and all over the states show increasing demand and excitement for his new art form. The new work has been selling almost instantly all over the globe. He is yet to show this body of work in a gallery and fair; however, he is planning to do so when the time is right.
Discussing the plans ahead, as far as his artwork goes, Isaac plans to keep building on his craft and improve it to the best level possible. Though his work is reaching commercial commission and collaboration, he wants to focus on exhibiting and helping his work find a home among great collections. Apart from that, he is also creating a partnership in his father’s production company ‘Antonio Pelayo Productions’ which focuses on art, music, and culture.
Being a multi-faceted personality, he is also exploring the entrepreneurship world. “My involvement in entrepreneurship is wide. First and foremost, I am a fine artist, but multiple sources of income was something I understood as a kid.”
His financial endeavors include his clothing and merchandise in partnership with The Silk Cloud Co. He is a tattoo artist, which led him to be the forefront artist for many and some of the biggest influencers on Instagram and TikTok that includes most of Hype House, Sway House, Jaden Hossler, Chase “lil huddy” Hudson, and Stassie Babe.
Isaac also does Acting, Modelling, Music, Animation for the large production companies. He is recently gearing up to dive into stock trading and real estate in partnership with his father.
Not to mention, all of these at the age of 24. Isaac is a dreamer, believer, artist, visionary with an Entrepreneur Mind.
To keep up with him, you can follow his official Instagram handle: @isaacpelayo
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.
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