The Unfolding Creative Process of Artist Jordan Sokol

By Milene Fernandez

December 2017



Creating Meaning in The Art World

Florence Academy of Art Bridges Old and New in the US

By Milene Fernandez

August 2016


What Unfinished Masterpieces Say To Living Artists

Spotlight on the third floor of Met Breuer's "Unfinished" exhibition

By Milene Fernandez

August 2016

Jordan Sokol, Painter and Academic Director of The Florence Academy of Art–U.S. Branch, on Titian

The Flaying of Marsyas” ( probably 1570s) by Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (Italian, Pieve di Cadore ca. 1485/90?–1576 Venice). (The Met Breuer)

The Flaying of Marsyas” ( probably 1570s) by Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (Italian, Pieve di Cadore ca. 1485/90?–1576 Venice). (The Met Breuer)

Looking at “The Flaying of Marsyas,” we are essentially witnessing a violent death. It’s incredible to look at this Titian painting and to imagine what was going on in his life. He’s in his late 80s or 90s [we do not know his exact date of birth], at a time where there’s a plague that wiped out almost a third of the population of Venice. It’s incredible to imagine him in that context, how that must have impacted him, and how that is coming through in the way he’s portraying death. 


“The Flaying of Marsyas” ( probably 1570s) by Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (Italian, Pieve di Cadore ca. 1485/90?–1576 Venice). (The Met Breuer)

On top of that is Titian’s use of paint. The way his painting evolved stylistically was incredibly unique and innovative. Nobody painted like him before him. He’s painting with big broad brushstrokes; it’s very loose and atmospheric. Figures melt with the background, edges bleed into one another. The painting looks very abstract up close, yet holds together from a distance.

These are the seeds of impressionism. He’s inventing this. It’s eventually what inspired Rembrandt and Velasquez.

That’s inspiring to me because what it means is that at a certain point he transcended what he was painting. He’s building a relationship with paint that’s independent from the subject matter. It enhances the subject matter because it obviously adds to the emotionality of it.


Jordan Sokol, artist and academic director of The Florence Academy of Art-U.S. Branch in Jersey City, New Jersey, on July 14, 2016. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

Jordan Sokol, artist and academic director of The Florence Academy of Art-U.S. Branch in Jersey City, New Jersey, on July 14, 2016. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

Jordan Sokol, artist and academic director of The Florence Academy of Art-U.S. Branch in Jersey City, New Jersey, on July 14, 2016. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

That is huge, because I am seeing how a whole other dimension of painting can be explored. It opens up a whole new doorway to the exploration of what can be done with the medium itself. How do I find that balance between what I’m painting and how I’m painting it? And how do I enhance what I am painting through the way that I paint it? It inspires me to push the boundaries of the use of paint as an abstract language, and not just [representing]. 

I find that the more hours that go by when I’m painting a model, the more I observe and perceive, and the more I start to deconstruct what I am seeing. It becomes so abstract to the point that I feel I am getting closer to the truth of something. 

When I look at “The Flaying of Marsyas,” I feel like I’m seeing the truth of something.  I’m seeing this artist having such a genuine relationship with paint to the point where he is able to innovate. It just came out of himself. This guy is a monster—a monster master.

Read more:



Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier

By Juliette Aristides

July 2016

Featured in "Lessons in Classical Painting" by Juliette Aristides, Watson-Guptil Publications, NY. (page 44, 142-43)



Curated By Daniel Maidman

November 2015, Issue #68

An eclectic collection of work from 50 contemporary visual artists, curated by Daniel Maidman. From high academic rendering to abstract decalcomania, and from emerging artists to David Salle and Kiki Smith, this issue of Poets/Artists represents a broad survey of excellent work by devoted practitioners in their fields. 



Art and Culture now

The Three Artists of the FAA U.S.A. 

By Allison Malafronte

October 2015

A view of the Artist's studio

A view of the Artist's studio

The Florence Academy Of Art Opened Its First American Campus In The New York Metropolitan Area Of Jersey City In January Of 2015. This Article Takes A Peak Inside The Private Studios Of The Academy’s Principal Instructors.

Once everyone had returned from their summer travels, I revisited the FAA U.S.A. in late September to interview Jordan Sokol and Richard Greathouse. Sokol was just returning to his studio after reaching the halfway mark of what has likely been one of his busiest years yet. Setting up and directing a school while continuing to maintain his personal studio is all taken in stride by Sokol, whose grounded and stalwart presence make it seem as if little could shake him. And, like Gurpide, Sokol’s character and genuine nature come through in his artwork, making his drawings and paintings sought-after treasures among a diverse and distinguished group of collectors. But as easy-going as Sokol’s everyday disposition may be, when it comes to his art he is serious, critical of his work, and extremely dedicated. He is a private person and prefers not to talk too much about himself or his art, but when he does, he has a great deal of important information to share.

Other than several stunning 19th-century drawings near his book shelf, Sokol’s studio was relatively empty when I came to visit. He told me that although he is consistently working in the studio, he really only completes about two paintings a year, and they usually leave the studio immediately. He is a self-proclaimed “slow painter” and needs to take the necessary time to patiently layer each piece, both technically and psychologically. “When you walk into a painter’s studio you expect to see a lot of paintings, but I almost never have paintings around,” he admitted. “Mainly I’m working with one gallery [Arcadia Contemporary], and my gallerist [Steve Diamant] has been great about understanding and supporting the kind of artist I am and the work I want to do. I know there is a growing sentiment among artists to try to sell their work on their own, and I can understand why, but taking that route requires a lot of self-promotion, and I’m horrible at that. I’d rather be painting than on Facebook or Instagram, so I’m grateful to give the responsibility of that to someone else, especially someone who has a solid understanding of the art business.”

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Jordan Sokol: A Teacher Eager to Learn

Jeffrey Carlson Reporting

Editor, Fine Art Today

June 2015

Jordan Sokol, A Noted Painter And Teacher, Speaks On Exhibiting At The BP Portrait Award Show, Lessons From The Old Masters, And How Teaching Others Has Improved His Own Understanding Of Art.

Fine Art Today: You recently enjoyed the honor of having your portrait "Tenold" selected for the BP Portrait Award show in London. Would you share the story of this piece? Who is the sitter, and what about him were you aiming to capture?
Jordan Sokol: Tenold is a friend and fellow painter I met in Seattle while teaching some workshops at the Gage Academy of Art. He's an instructor in Juliette Aristides' atelier. While I was living in Madrid after leaving Florence, I invited Tenold to come out to Spain and stay in my studio in return for posing for me. He stayed for almost two months, sitting for me in the mornings and copying at the Prado in the afternoons. It was extremely humbling to have that painting hanging on a wall of the National Portrait Gallery, where so many great paintings fill its halls.
It's hard not to get desensitized by the barrage of images we experience every day, either on TV or in the subway or driving to work. The relationship we have to an image now is different than what people had in the past. I can't help but think when Van Eyck or Ribera or Rembrandt were painting, they weren't just creating an "image" of reality but actually materializing another reality. Their paintings exist as living, breathing worlds that are far more than just images of something.




Ryan Melody

Publisher, Artists On Art

A Consecrated Reality

By Jordan sokol

Fall 2014 Issue



75th Anniversary. "75 Greatest Artists of All Times"

By Allison Malafronte 

Editorial Assistant, American Artist

January 2013

What makes an artist stand out as someone of great promise in a crowd of worldwide practitioners? Certainly we know that art is subjective and that it can't just be about an individual's style, because styles resonate with some and not with others. But there should be an overarching set of criteria that help better define and establish what makes an artist worthy of watching. For this category, we selected painters based on their skill level, subject matter, motivation, understanding, and expression. Another important factor was the internal makeup of each artist: his or her temperament, level of intelligent thought, and that all-important desire to keep searching and reaching for the next level.



Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier

By Juliette Aristides

November 2011

Featured in "Lessons in Classical Drawing" by Juliette Aristides, Watson-Guptil Publications, NY. (page 55,203)



11 Groundbreaking Artists to Watch in The New Year

By Austin R.Williams

Associate Editor, American Artist

January 2011

American Artist forges ahead into the new year by teaming up with a select group of art -world professionals- those working in galleries, schools, community art organizations, and art -materials manufacturers- to choose a cohort of talented artists who exemplify our community's shared passion for art and will act as our guides for future progress.

One challenge for young painters is to find training that suits their style and leads them, through years of hard work, to a greater mastery of their craft. After completing an intensive course of study, they face a second challenge: how to utilize the skills they have developed to further an individual artistic vision. Jordan Sokol is one artist who has successfully incorporated the methods he learned in his education toward the creation of unique art. His painting is informed by his training, but it is not defined or limited by it.