Interview with Lakwood Artist Frank Oriti

Ava Hitter, Arts and Culture Reporter

Lakewood artist Frank Oriti recently spoke to the Lakewood Times in an interview about his work as an artist, his inspirations, and his ever ongoing journey with painting. 

When speaking to the Lakewood Times about what inspires his paintings, and what draws him to creating such realistic art, he says “I’m inspired by the hard working people that I have grown up with and am still surrounded by. There is a toughness and resiliency among the people of Cleveland that I find interesting and one of the main reasons I continue to paint portraits.”

As well, when discussing what attracts him to certain subjects and not others to paint, he says “I think that having a connection to the person I’m painting is always important. When painting objects, I’m drawn to depicting things that are worn and show the passing of time. Faded tattoos, ripped or frayed denim, and aged leather are all objects that tell a story.” 

Oriti, whose art has been shown in the prestigious BP Portrait Award in London’s National Portrait Gallery, discussed his experiences with different galleries, and how they serve as inspiration, saying “Working with different galleries has been a great experience.  I’ve been able to show my work all over the country in the ten years since I graduated from college. Every gallery has a different vibe and it’s been very cool getting to work with curators who are interested in the work I’ve made. 

When speaking to him about his work in Lakewood and how other artists inspire his own art, Oriti says “Finding other artists throughout history as well as in the contemporary art world has been very inspiring. Being able to find your ‘team’ of like-minded artists is always good for creative support.”

Frank Oriti is an exceptionally talented painter interested in realistic portrayals of the people he meets, showing the distinct uniqueness and quirks of each Clevelander who poses for him, and who is continually inspired by the city around us.