|K E N||V R A N A|
Internationally-recognized fine artist, Ken Vrana, has been painting for over 57 years – 55 of them professionally. At age nine, he sold his first canvas, a self-portrait for $1,800.
Abandoned at birth, he was extremely fortunate to be adopted by parents who recognized his artistic abilities early and because he grew up in the Hamptons, he subsequently studied with seminal artists like William DeKooning, Larry Rivers and Ashcan School artist, Valentine Arborgaste. In 1965 he was invited to participate in a special sculpture program at Syracuse University, and in 1966 he started school at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute. During the next few years, while pursuing a degree in Interior Design, he also studied with artists like Andy Warhol.
Over time he owned his own advertising agency in Atlanta and eventually made his way to Los Angeles and the film industry. Having never written anything professionally, within 2 weeks he had sold his first screenplay and soon found himself represented by the William Morris Agency. He and his wife also opened a very successful modeling agency with sister agencies in Barcelona and London.
After 15 years he decided to change course and moved to Cary, North Carolina, a town south of Raleigh and at age 49 decided to pursue something he’d wanted to do for year; go to law school. Shortly thereafter he created the 1 in 8 Foundation, while working for Sir. Paul McCartney’s breast cancer charity and in 2011, the 1 in 8 was named the fastest growing cancer charity in the world (www.1in8.org). He also authored a Congressional Bill naming the month of May, into perpetuity, as “Early Detection Month for All Cancers.” It passed unanimously. At about that same time he sold his first book, entitled “Free Falling.”
Late in 2012 people began to compare his paintings to one of the most important artists of the last century, Lucian Freud. Ken is about to launch an international exhibition of his work entitled “The Invisible People.”
Those who own Ken’s work include Presidents Carter and Clinton, Sen. Edward Kennedy, racing drivers Mario and Michael Andretti, actors Henry Fonda, George C. Scott, Jack Lemmon, Rosemary Clooney, Steve Buscemi, Robert Hays and most recently Daniel Day-Lewis. He and his wife, Lisa are also Civil War living historians.
Copyright 2013 Ken Vrana