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Cosimo Cavallaro was born in Montreal in 1961. The son of Italian immigrants, he was raised both in Canada and in Italy. A moment that marked young Cosimo’s life was the response his mother gave him when he asked for a toy that the other neighborhood children had. She told him to draw the toy until it became real, and only then could he have it. That idea bit him—that a flat image or amorphous material could become more real than reality—and it became his focus.
Cavallaro attended art school at Dawson College and then at Concordia University, both in Montreal. He had left Dawson when he met Gerald Roach, who became his mentor, and who took him to Nova Scotia to paint with him. After school, Cosimo began working in the art department on movie sets. During this time, he met Director Max Fischer (The Lucky Star), and he soon became Max’s Art Director on several feature films.
In 1984, Cosimo transitioned into a successful career as a Commercial TV Director in Canada, working for Boardwalk Pictures and for Derek Van Lint (Alien) in Toronto. Le Verseau and Cinelaund Montreal . By 1988, he was in demand and directing in Europe and America for various production companies. He soon joined Emerald Films in the states, and set up his own production company—Figaro Films—in Montreal, and his directing career thrived throughout the 90s.
Cavallaro has won directing awards ranging from the Juno Award for Best Music Video (Boomtown—Andrew Cash) to the BESSIE for Best TV Commercial Campaign, to the Gold Cox . International Advertising Award, to an award from the Ministry of Communications and a Governor General’s Award in Canada.
In the midst of all this, in 1995, Cosimo planted his feet in New York and began sculpting with perishables. His art installations quickly attracted mass media coverage—including CNN (Anderson Cooper), CBC, BBC, CBS, CNBC, FOX, NBC (Dateline), and PBS—and also generated buzz in art magazines, educational and religious journals, major national and international newspapers, and pop culture publications.
His sculptures are now exhibited in museums, galleries, and art festivals across the continent and globe, including at Wilhelm-Morgner-Haus in Germany, the Open Air Museum in Vancouver, the DeCordova in Massachusetts, the Lumiere in St. Louis, Real Art Ways in Connecticut, and the Cedarhurst Center in Illinois.
Cavallaro has also written five feature-length screenplays and one TV series that are currently in various stages of development in Canada and the U.S. (The Killer’s Dance, Slap, Magic Melody, Jesus Is Where?, Gun Down and Jimmy Can Do).