An American painter working with oils, John Sonsini is best known for his portraits of Latino laborers, at once highly personal depictions and references to the politics of immigration. His all-male portraits generally address broad issues of gender mythology.
Born in Rome, New York, Sonsini currently lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975 from California State University, Northridge, CA. He has exhibited his works in venues such as Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles, CA; Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; Art Design & Architecture Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA; Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA; Patrick Painter Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Bentley Gallery, Phoenix, AZ; Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA; Inman Gallery, Houston, TX; James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM; Hamilton College, Emerson Gallery, Clinton, NY; and ACME., Los Angeles, CA.
Sonsini creates his work in several five-hour-long sessions with his sitters in his studio. In this way, he removes his subjects from their day to day contexts, setting them against tonal backdrops devoid of detail. His works are occasionally populated with items such as suitcases, bags, and boxes, suggesting a story.