Antonio Di Donato was born in Casanova di Carinola, Italy. He grew up watching classic western movies and “spaghetti westerns” (proud that they were filmed in Italy). He enjoyed reading the adventures of Tex Willer, a very popular Italian western comic book hero. Playing cowboys and Indians left him with a scar in his knee from a younger brother’s homemade arrow and another scar on his forehead from the same brother’s Indian spear. He has always loved horses. When his youngest brother was born, he walked to the store and bought a little toy horse and carriage for him. In his early teens his mother allowed him to paint a large picture of horses running through water on one of the walls in their home. His boyhood dream was to live with Indians and ride with the cowboys.
He was attracted to art as a child, drawing charcoal pictures of the courtyard at his grandfather’s home. Antonio’s talent was recognized early. He was scheduled to enter the Art Academy, but his education was interrupted by the death of his father. Several years later, Antonio enrolled at the Institute of Art at Il Castello in Milan, Italy. He also studied and trained with several well-known artists in Milan.
Antonio’s interest in the cultures and history of the American West is a favorite hobby. He has tried to incorporate into his life the ideals of respect and admiration for nature, not to be ashamed of hard work, that all things are spiritual in nature, to never give up; to be proud of one’s self, to be simple and direct.
In 1991 Antonio immigrated to the United States where he lives his dream. Not only has he had the opportunity to live with Indians and ride with cowboys but he has the privilege to call many of them friends. He received encouragement and support from such notable Artists as John Hughes, Z.S. Liang, David Mann, Jim Norton, Howard Terpning, Morgan Weistling, and William Whitaker.
Antonio has won several Art Awards; his work has been sold and exhibited through the United State and Canada including at the annual art show and auction of the Western Art Association in Ellensburg, Washington. He has been a featured artist in the August 2004 of the Western Horseman magazine. Antonio has had several pieces, including portraits, commissioned by art collectors and he has had years of experience in commercial art. The Mountain Trails Galleries in Park City, Utah and in Jackson, Wyoming currently represent him.
Antonio hopes his art will reflect his love and appreciation for the nature, animals, and peoples of the American West.