About Gardega

Alex Gardega is a NYC city based professional fine artist.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pompeii Mural by Gardega

I recently completed a Pompeii Mural. There is still a day of detailing and touch up but for the most part it is complete. I may also "distress" the white doorframe pictured here. whenever I paint a mural I used it as an excuse to learn as much as I can about the subject matter. Whether it is Vermeer, Leonardo, the Sistine Chapel or Pompeii I really enjoy taking the time to dig into the history of the artist, painting or time period. 

Pompeii (The modern city Pompei has only one I) is believed to have been founded in the 6th or 7th century. In 79 Ad it was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius  and buried under roughly 20 feet of ash. They now think the people were killed by extreme heat (up to 400+ degrees F) I have always been interested in the story and the visuals (especially the frozen figures) of Pompeii but I have never visited or read too about it.

I have documented the full process of painting this mural in time lapse and will post when editing is done.

Here is a great NY TIMES article about new scientific research into Pompeii


Casts of the victims of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in site of Pompeii, Italy. Scientists are scanning the casts to learn what the contents can reveal about daily life before the eruption. CreditGianni Cipriano for The New York Times

POMPEII, Italy — When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., many of its victims in Pompeii were buried under mounds of pumice and ash that hardened over them like a mold, freezing them in time.
During more than two centuries of excavations, plaster casts were made of scores of those long-ago victims, making them a famous and poignant reminder of the unpredictability of death and the boundless power of nature.
But if the way Pompeii’s residents perished is well established, far less is known about how they lived. Now a team of scientists hopes to change that.
In September, an array of specialists — archaeologists, restorers, radiologists, anthropologists and others — set up a sophisticated field hospital of sorts here, complete with a computerized tomography scanner. Better known as a CT scanner, it will be used to peer beneath those opaque, improvised tombs.

In doing so, the team hopes to gather information about the habits and lifestyles of the ancient city’s residents, and along the way possibly to dispel presumptions that have grown up about who the victims were.

Continue reading the main story

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“We’re the antidote to an unscientific approach,” said Estelle Lazer, an Australian forensic anthropologist who has researched Pompeian bones for 30 years, publishing a study, “Resurrecting Pompeii,” in 2009.
“Spurious evidence” had given the casts names that stuck, like “the beggar” or “the slave,” diminishing the victims into mere “props to tell a story,” Ms. Lazer said. She criticized the romanticized notion of the Pompeian tragedy promulgated by literature and Hollywood films.
“Now we have a chance to get to know who they really were,” she said.
There was the supposition, for example, that the victims were mostly the very old, the very young, the infirm and women, “on the assumption that they were not fast runners,” Ms. Lazer said.
What has emerged from the data so far is that the victims consisted of a “random sampling of normality” typical of any catastrophe. “Disasters don’t tend to discriminate,” she said.
Almost as soon as the ancient city was discovered in the 18th century, excavators began to make casts of Pompeii’s victims, seeking to preserve their remains by pouring liquid plaster into the cavity that had been left under the hardened ash as the bodies decayed.
The scientific tests, which also include laser imaging and DNA sampling, are part of a larger restoration project on most of the known Pompeian casts, 86 in all, that began in April.
The casts had been “in a precarious condition” and required fresh conservation, said Massimo Osanna, the Culture Ministry official in charge of Pompeii, as he showed reporters the work in progress.


Plaster casts at a field hospital in Pompeii, where an array of specialists — archaeologists, restorers, radiologists, anthropologists and others — used computerized tomography scanners late last month. CreditGianni Cipriano for The New York Times

“I want to underscore that this was an interdisciplinary effort because archaeology now takes a global approach,” he added. “It was a scientific enterprise, not to make a show out of death.”
Initially, the radiologists in charge of the CT scan had to grapple with the difficulties presented by the density of the plaster, “which made it difficult to explore,” said Dr. Giovanni Babino, the radiologist who coordinated the CT scan project.
Though CT scans have already been carried out on mummies, the Pompeian plasters had never been examined. “There were no protocols for this in the world,” Dr. Babino said.
So the team had to come up with its own. The CT scanner was set up on the site, in an area off limits to the public, and the casts were transported to be examined, one by one.
The CT scans were carried out on the plasters in the same way they would be on a live person, Dr. Babino said, the only restriction being that the cast had to fit through the 70-centimeter bore in the scanner.
The data was then elaborated to create three-dimensional models, recomposing the skeletons like a puzzle.
One consistency among the victims so far is that most “had all their teeth,” said Roberto Canigliula of Philips Spa Healthcare, which designed and lent the scanner.
The finding suggested a “healthy diet with few sugars,” said Elisa Vanacore, a specialized dentist. The scans also showed that teeth wore away because they were used for cutting, she said. The dental records will help to determine the victims’ ages.


The archaeological site of Pompeii, with Mount Vesuvius in the background. New research shows some at the site died when the roof of their lodgings collapsed because of the weight of the ash and rock. CreditGianni Cipriano for The New York Times

Already the tests are calling into question some assumptions about the victims.
For example, one cast, found in the Forum in 1963, has been known as the “pregnant woman” because of the protuberance of the belly. The CT scan revealed the person was probably not pregnant, and may not have been a woman.
“Any woman with a bit of a stomach is said to be pregnant,” Ms. Lazer said.
Between the restoration, which included the reattachment of limbs, and the scientific testing, “we’ve tried to analyze the victims from A to Z,” said Stefano Vanacore, the chief curator in charge of restorations at the ruins, and the dentist’s cousin.
The DNA testing could “determine the degree of kinship between some of the victims,” he said, like the two girls found hugging each other in the so-called House of the Cryptoporticus.
The new findings could also help validate some theories. Some casts scanned so far showed the existence of fractured bones, suggesting that some died when the roof of their lodgings collapsed because of the weight of the ash and rock that rained down from Vesuvius.
The examination of one cast evinced that the victim was wearing a thickly woven cloth, suggesting that the eruption did not take place in the summer, on Aug. 24, the established eruption date, but rather later in the fall, as Grete Stefani, the site director of Pompeii, has long posited.
In all, 16 victims and two animals have been examined in the CT scanner, but Dr. Babino hopes to carry out more. To develop the three-dimensional images, those casts not able to pass through the CT scanner are being analyzed with X-ray machines and laser scanners.
“From this we will be able to make comparisons on the state of conservation in the future,” Mr. Vanacore said. The scans will also be used to make copies of the casts in plastic, for exhibitions.
The data extracted by the CT scans will now be analyzed by the specialists, who will try to answer many questions, chief among them: Who were these people? The findings will be published this year, officials said.
“These people had lives,” Ms. Lazer said, “real stories that deserve to be told, not those superimposed on them over time.”  

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Africa Mural Study

Here is a rough sketch layout for a new Palm Beach mural.  I always keep my initial sketches rough as you never know where a client's visual head is at. There is no point in starting out with a finished/ refined sketch only to find out you are on a different planet than your client. This mural obviously is African themed. It will be fun to paint as I have never painted Africa, I have painted a lot of zoo book covers so I have painted most of the animals Ill need to render for this piece.  

Monday, September 28, 2015

Old Master Copy By Gardega: Virgin On The Rocks

I am currently completing a full scale copy of Leonardo's Virgin on The rocks for a church. It is a lot of work, yet a labor of love. When it is completeI will discuss the painting and the process in detail.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Vermeer Mural by Gardega

I was commissioned to paint this in a jewelry store in Palm Beach Florida recently. (The box in the lower middle is a window into the other room.) It is a copy of Vermeer's Girl Reading a Letter. I had to take some compositional liberties. Oil on wall.

Old Master Copies: Battle Of Anghiari by Gardega

Here is my third and final Battle of Anghiari commission. This painting exists only in a sketch by Rubens after Leonardo's original. I really enjoyed learning as much as I could about this piece but I think a third time is a charm. I can probably draw 85% of it by memory now. I am going to give that a go.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Trois Cheveux!

I went to The Met yesterday and saw some new drawings/ prints they had put up, Luckily their print and drawing section gets changed up regularly so its exciting to see new works. I thought I would use three different prints and drawings based on horses to compare style and give my two shillings on them. 

One of my favorite artists is GERICAULT. (He was Delacroix's teacher) I love this drawing/ watercolor there is so much life to it! Look at that sky! There seems to be a coming storm (is that a volcano in background??) it leads to a lot of mystery and questions..The horse seems to be nervous as they are often are pre-storm. The guy sitting is awesome as is his pose, just a great piece! VIVA GERICAULT.

Lautrec! I am not sure what has happened to art but you dont find much it around anymore, this strikes me even more when you look at work buy the genius of Lautrec. Look at the life in that horse and rider! Totally stylized, totally great! If you notice the print is composed as an perfect  angle from top left to bottom right. Just brilliant! The sharp diagonal is broken by the curve of the arena. I had to fight not to steal off the wall and run out like james bond. Not bad for a dwarf who drank absinthe out of his cane.

Sargent... When I was in art school everyone loved Sargent (because they had no taste) A lifeless, well rendered photograph of a horse. Very mechanical..go back to painting buttery aristocrats, Sargent--he did paint some nice watercolors, though--and he had skill. Skill without taste is like bread without jam.

There you have it, a complete explanation of art and drawing using only Trois Cheveux...

did I butcher the french?


Prints are now available of my angel. 12"  x 18" Limited to 100 pieces signed and numbered. For info fill out form to right.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Here is the speed painting of the angel I promised


I will go further into the painting process on SATURDAYS. Each Saturday there will be a teaching session on here. He who teaches, learns.

Monday, December 15, 2014

How To Paint Like DaVinci

Art school will not teach you to paint like Davinci because art school knows nothing about him or the Renaissance. Art school will teach you to paint like Sargent at best--I.e. badly. If you want to learn about Leonardo you must spend 20 years studying him in museums and books. Luckily I have done some homework for you over the past 20 years so I can help you copy a DaVinci that would make your neighbors jealous. Remember, there is no such thing as cheating in art so I will help you cheat your way through this painting.

The first thing you need is to print the picture above out in Kinkos or Staples. It is 10.5 inches wide so print 11 x 17 on color printer. (You can put on a thumb drive and print from a thumb drive right to a copier in either kinkos or staples)

After you have printed out you want to bring it home and trace it very carefully! If you dont have a lightbox you can use the glass on your front door. I have used this trick on many a mural job onsite. TRACE CAREFULLY! DONT BE LAZY...my drawing is flipped here--dont worry about that, Ill explain later.

Now go back to kinkos and have them make a black and white copy of your tracing! A kinkos person can flip your drawing left or right horizontally in the copier (called a mirror) very handy!

Now, for 5 dollars the kinkos person make a blow up of the image up to 24 inch wide. in this case that is exactly 230%

Now the blow up is 24 by roughly 34 inches the canvas is 24 x 36 so I added two more inches to image when i started painting. Ill explain later. Now put your tracing paper on top of this (use a roll of tracing paper that is 2 foot wide) carefully trace whole image again on a window or door. be careful and don't be lazy. I will post more each day on this project and also include time lapse video. Go make your copies and dont slack.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Brooklyn Etched Glass

I have started increasing my glass etching output. I go through phases of etching.  My studio is in Greenpoint Brooklyn, I can etch anything in glass. If I can draw it, I can etch it. Here is my website.


The Flower of Life

Every so often I take out my compass and scribe one of these. see if you can figure out how its done, if you need help I will make a video and show you. Its a very zen-like exercise.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Raphael Video


A great video on one of my heros..

NYC Murals by Gardega

I recently finished this mural for Saint Micheal's Mausoleum in Queens.
Copy of the Doni Tondo by gardega.

I painted this copy of Michelangelo's Doni Tondo for a friend of mine.

It was a lot of work.

Friday, June 13, 2014

I am currently working on a mural foir St. Michael's Mausoleum in Queens. I hope to finish today or at latest tomorrow. I was worried about dealing with the doorknob but it kind of falls away from the viewers eye more than I expected.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Wax Sculpture: St. Theresa

I am sculpting St. Theresa in wax for a client. When done I will cast it in glass. Casting glass is many things, easy is not one of them. Just a sneak peek...I will post entire process on this blog.

One of the great drawings of all time

This drawing was drawn by Michelangelo as a gift to a friend of his. I forget the title but I saw the original  on display in NYC a few years ago. Amazing skill and harmony.

Amazing Article


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How to cast glass..by gardega

I am casting a St. Theresa in glass for a client. I will show the process here.  First I carve the figure in wax. I have just begun so there isnt much to see yet.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ceiling Mural by Gardega

I am working around the clock on a ceiling for Harley's BBQ restaurant in Harlem NYC. I have painted many, many ceiling murals so my muscles/ neck dont really hurt like they used to. I decided to base the mural layout on the spokes of the wheel chandelier in center. There will be a total of eight sections the first is Texas. Also there will be the West indies, New Orleans, Kansas city..all BBQ "HUBS" . I love BBQ and I love painting so this is a great job. Unfortunately I work overnights on it from 1:30 Am to 5:30 or 6:00 on it so I dont get to eat the BBQ as the kitchen is closed.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Update by Gardega

I have been very busy on many fronts. I  was in Texas helping a church open an art gallery. Ill post some pics of this later. I am currently painting a ceiling mural (overnights) in a restaurant in Harlem called Harley's. Its quite a feat because it will be my first ceiling mural on "tins" when this is done I have to hit the easel around the clock for an art show in Fort Worth Texas. Working overnights is strange to adjust. I arrive at 1:30am and leave about 5:30am.  I cannot sleep during day so I go straight to work in art studio, then I sleep from 7pm to about 11 or 12. I recently worked 24.5 hours straight and that was a record for me. The mural will be done before valentines day. Very complex to work around speakers and lights etc. I will post progress.

 I have finally started a website for my sales section of my art. http://gardega-art-for-sale.myshopify.com/ my main website is still www.gardega.com

my side project www.nyctradingcards.com has done very well and it was a ton of work but a labor of love. Thee cards came out very nice. here is the Brooklyn card..the first set has the five boroughs.
  back to work..

Saturday, November 30, 2013

                                       Spray painted rabbit by SKETCHYNYC 2013

24" x 36" canvas

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gardega Studios Murals

I have had a client for over 6 years and we have done two homes for him. It is best to keep your good clients happy. We are almost done with his second home after a few year on and off. I will post the final photos next week. Quite a journey.. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa

The sun is set to “flip upside down” within weeks as its magnetic field reverses polarity in an event that will send ripple effects throughout the solar system.
Although it may sound like a catastrophic occurrence, there’s no need to run for cover. The sun switches its polarity, flipping its magnetic north and south, once every eleven years through an internal mechanism about which little is understood.
The swap could however cause intergalactic weather fronts such as geomagnetic storms, which can interfere with satellites and cause radio blackouts.
Nasa said in August that the change would happen in three to four months time, but it is impossible to give a more specific date. Scientist won’t know for around another three weeks whether the flip is complete.
The impact of the transfer will be widespread as the sun’s magnetic field exerts influence well beyond Pluto, past Nasa's Voyager probes positioned near the edge of interstellar space.
The event will be watched closely by researchers at Stanford University’s Wilcox Solar Observatory, which monitors the sun's magnetic field on a daily basis.
Todd Hoeksema, director of the Wilcox Solar Observatory, said the polarity change is built up throughout the eleven year cycle through areas of intense magnetic activity known as sunspots which gradually move towards the poles, eroding the existing opposite polarity.
Eventually, the magnetic field reduces to zero, before rebounding with the opposite polarity. “It's kind of like a tide coming in or going out,” Hoeksema said. “Each little wave brings a little more water in, and eventually you get to the full reversal.”
One of the most noticeable effect on Earth will be a boost in the occurrence, range and visibility of auroras - the Northern Lights. “It’s not a catastrophic event, it’s a large scale event that has some real implications, but its not something we need to worry about,” added Hoeksema.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

On the easel(s)... I now paint on two easels as it saves me time.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Murals NYC by Gardega

I painted this for a restaurant in Briarcliff, NY. The owners wanted it to be aged like the old hand painted signs on buildings in NYC. The painting is divided by a wall,hence the black line.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Etched Glass, NYC

I just etched a few dozen of these for a great company in NYC. Here is my glass website:


Gardega on Voice of Russia Radio

I just did a radio interview with Voice of Russia regarding my Banksy go home mural/ street art. they said it should go on the radio tomorrow or so. Ill try to find a link and post. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Vandal fesses up

This guy is the guy who tagged my picture. Im glad he ran out of art supplies because he wanted to change my god that I painted in oils and took a lot of time. 

Cy Ko said...
I bumped into your mural in the middle of the night. I looked up your website but I misstyped it and got an error... so for a little moment I thought it was a fake URL. This made me think it could really be something commissioned by Banksy. Because it is really in the spirit of Banksy (I am sure he would love it.) So I thought it would be funny to do something. Sorry my pathetic pen died in my Islamisation attempt... I didn't have my art supplies, otherwise I would have tried to make your God look more like an Iranian cleric! You did a great job. Good luck... + Try to sell it to Banksy! Seriously. He might buy it or sign it and it would pay your trip to Rome! (Do not forget the main reason graffitters work with stencils is because it is fast enough to avoid being arrested. A graffi is not a mural. A graffitter never asks permission to anyone about anything.)

dont mess with god as they say...