This year I'm soaking in history as we move into the New Year by connecting with the ancestors of my craft in Italy.

Menswear Illustration of a man wearing a fashionable outfit from Espress Men, standing near the Belvedere Torso, a sculpture in the Vatican Museum

As a nomad, not having an actual home to return to, means that I am always finding myself living somewhere different. My sojourn to Italy has connected me with the ancestors of painting and sculpture, renewing my spirit and seeding new inspiration for another year of new countries, new cultures and new illustrations.

Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome, perhaps Rome most of all are like living museums. Venice has been frozen in time, Rome is the ancient heart of Italy and Florence is the perpetual reminder and glorifier of the Renaissance.

A layout of menswear illustrations that depict Italian sculptures wearing clothing items from Express Men

The artists, the engineers, all of the creative geniuses that make the foundation of Italy, these are my people. These are the people who inspire and encourage my passion.

Raphael shouts my name as I enter the Pantheon.

Michelangelo waves to me from the top of the Sistine Chapel.

Caravaggio gives me a high five as I walk up to the Church of St. Louis.

Above all, Caravaggio has inspired my love for painting. His melancholic and powerful use of lighting (chiaroscuro) tingles the hairs on the back of my neck. Michelangelo was his first name, and another Michelangelo before him painted the Sistine Chapel. Several of the figures on the Sistine Chapel are directly influenced by a mysterious sculpture known as the Belvedere Torso. 

This Torso, which is painted in my Express Man illustration, has held the eyes of many thousands. It has held the eyes of Caravaggio and the eyes of Michelangelo and it holds the weight of many centuries.

An open sketchbook sits next to a painting, each depicting the Express Man menswear illustration

As we move into 2017 I will be thinking about this Belvedere Torso. 

I will think about the Belvedere Torso's power to inspire Michelangelo.

I will think about the power Michelangelo had to inspire Caravaggio.

I will think about the power Caravaggio has had over me.

And I will think about the beauty I can leave for the centuries to come.

Which leads me now to think about the work I am doing as 2016 is closing out.

Menswear illustrations of Italian sculptures wearing clothing from Express Men

With inspiration from the masters I present this Express Man illustration series.

Menswear Illustration of a sculpture of Benvenuto Cellini wearing a red Express tuxedo blazer

Benvenuto Cellini

Menswear Illustration of a sculptural bust of a Greco-Roman, bearded man wearing an Express fedora

Bearded, Greco-Roman Bust

Menswear Illustration Michelango's The David wearing Express double monk shoes

Michelangelo's 'David'

Menswear Illustration of a sculpture of Perseus holding the head of Medusa and wearing an Express trousers

Perseus Slaying Medusa

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