Mario Sukkar is a young Sydney based artist with exemplary talent. He recalls first becoming interested in art at the tender age of five, “I would draw cartoons which led me to draw realistic portraits by the age of eight.” At this time, Mario drew portraits of his parents, celebrities and Saints. At the age of 11, he started painting. “My mum bought me paints, little brushes and a little easel. I painted my first portrait of St Charbel.” Mario would practise art in his studio every day, experimenting with colours and techniques, and painting both portraits and landscapes. A career that started young, Mario received his first commission at the age of 12.
Mario Sukkar Photo Gallery
Since then he has entered countless exhibitions and competitions. Reminiscing back to where it all began, Mario says it was his mother that initially discovered his talent. “She knew I loved to draw so to occupy me one day, she sat me down and gave me something to draw. I decided to draw a picture of Bart Simpson, which was the image on a plastic cup. It was a great likeness.” His mother could not believe the accuracy of the drawing, having questioned if Mario had traced it. It was in this moment that his potential in art was recognised and so, the encouragement to draw increased. “What kept me drawing and painting was the encouragement of my parents and peers, seeing their reaction was priceless as I improved overtime with practice.” Mario says he devoted hours of practice and trial and error to get to where he is now – skill wise and with his accomplishments. It was through time he developed his own technique, which was inspired by the Old Masters.
Though he does not stick to one technique, Mario experiments using variations of the same one and exploring new concepts. “When painting, I start with my darkest darks and work my way to the midtones and lastly, the highlights. I work in relatively thin layers over the under painting using semitransparent or transparent glazing, so that I achieve luminosity within the subject.” For Mario, painting is not just about replicating the subject but rather, adding meaning through the use of colours and symbolism. “When I hold a brush or a pencil, that is the only time I feel powerful. You’re in a zone where you tend to forget what happens in the real world and any problems you are having.” Most importantly for Mario, the priceless reactions from people who view his work makes him even more motivated to continue to improve and bring out his maximum potential. While his family remain a huge source of encouragement, there are many artists that influence and inspire Mario. These include the Masters from the periods of the Renaissance, Baroque, neoclassical, romantics, Realists and surrealists and photorealistic movements. In particular, artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio, Rubens, Velazquez, Rembrandt, Ingress, Godward,
Bouguereau and Dali.
Mario’s success is evident in the numerous competitions and awards he has acquired. Such major accomplishments include winning the 2014 Young Archie competition (Art Gallery Of NSW), 2015 Honourable Mention (Young Archie), Finalist Young Australian Art Awards 2012, 2013, Westmead Hospital Art prize Finalist 2013,14, The Bishop Daniel Delany International Art competition 2013, 1st place chapter 6 and 2nd chapter 1, winning the Australian Lebanese Association Award 2014 for the category Art-Painting. Additional accomplishments include 2014 Blacktown Art Prize Finalist, 2014-16 Sydney Royal Arts and Crafts Show Exhibit and Certifi cate of Merit.
Highly Commended Art Award for 2017 Cumberland Art and Photography Awards, for his painting titled “For the love of my country.” Mario also donated an oil painting depicting “Christ Saving St Peter” to the Maronite’s on Mission, which raised $5000 for charity. Notable commissions include Mario’s original Nativity Scene “Granville Christmas” for Julia Finn MP for Granville, printed and distributed to 5000 people, in the form of Christmas Cards around Western Sydney. In 2016, Mario painted the fi rst ever painting of the Lord Mayor of Parramatta (Paul Garrard), which is currently on display at the Parramatta Heritage Centre. Having forged such a bright career, Mario has started sharing his knowledge with other artists and holds one on one tuition and classes from his studio. Through Mario’s classes, artists have the chance to learn the fundamentals of painting and drawing, using various mediums including oils, acrylics and watercolour.
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