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The Biography of Aldo Luongo

Career Highlights

Aldo Luongo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1941, of Italian heritage. Since as far back as he can remember, Luongo had two great passions: art and soccer. Shortly after his graduation from the Academy of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires in the early 1960s, Luongo came to the U.S. to play professional soccer for the New York Cosmos. After his athletic career was cut short due to an injury, he arrived in New York City with a dream to pursue his artwork full time.

In the early 70’s, he had his first major success with multiple reproductions of his black & white drawings. Not only were these prints released to great critical acclaim, they were a huge commercial success as well (hundreds of thousands of pieces sold within several years). Aldo had put himself on the map as a major international artist.

Aldo Luongo has continued his reign at the top of the contemporary art world for almost four decades – a distinction that puts him in a class of his own. He has received numerous awards and honors, including being named a 3-time official Olympic Artist (Summer 1988, Summer 1996, and Winter 2002); an official World Cup Artist (1998); an official U.S. Women’s World Cup Artist (1999); and the 1999 Sports Artist of the Year (U.S. Sports Museum.)

From his acrylics to his fine art prints, all of Aldo Luongo's pieces embody the same sense of fluidity and intensity, the result of a true artist engaged in the passionate process of creation. His bold, impressionistic style has often been referred to as "Romance on Canvas". Central to all of Luongo's paintings is the balance between memory and hope, sorrow and humor, freedom and control. These dynamics are clearly apparent in his figurative works, especially those portraying "The Hawk", an archetypal character based on the memory of his father and the discovery of his future self. Aldo Luongo's artwork captures more than just the viewers gaze… it echoes the experiences of life lived to the fullest.


An Early 1985 Hawk Painting

Lovers, an early 1980's piece by Luongo





The most enduring single image in the paintings of Aldo Luongo is that of "The Hawk." The Hawk is a character who has evolved throughout Luongo's career, and is his single most meaningful symbol.

Originally, The Hawk was an homage to the artist's father, Rafael Celestino Luongo. Aldo grew up with many of the same pressures that create distances between father and son. Though their relationship was not explosive, there were still gaps to be bridged. In the early 70's, Rafael Luongo died.

Out of this tragic loss was born a new creation. While contemplating his father, the artist realized that in many ways he was the ideal man. A figure who appealed to both men and women, who possessed a personality of charm, charisma, and grace, Rafael epitomized the artist's conception of the quintessential man. What would he have been like had he lived to be seventy years old?

 Thus was born The Hawk. Though never meant to resemble Luongo's father physically, The Hawk personifies his spirit. He represents the appreciation of quality, the hunger of life, and living it to the fullest. He is virile and wise, often surrounded by friends. His essence is captured in the knowing sparkle of his gaze.

Originally, The Hawk was not painted to be shown, but as a personal project. However, while picking up paintings from the studio, a delivery man mistakenly included the first Hawk portrait in the group. Before Luongo noticed it missing, it was sold.

As he created further Hawk paintings, the concept began to evolve. Instead of the future his father might have had, The Hawk became the future the artist would like to live. The Hawk came to embody Luongo's ideals, his notion of the good life. He began to portray him in a variety of moods: the somber, the reflective, the exuberant. Throughout it all, the secret lay in his eyes. People respond so positively to The Hawk that Luongo has had numerous requests for commissions from people who would like their portraits painted with The Hawk.

The Hawk, as described by Luongo, has only 10 or 15 minutes left on the clock of life, "but he's living life to the fullest and going out in style … I want to be like him in my twilight years." Wouldn't most of us?


Aldo's father

The Hawk



The Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.

The Museum of Science and Industry, Los Angeles, California

The Juarez Museum, Juarez, Chiuagua, Mexico

The John F. Kennedy Museum, Boston, Massachusetts

The Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland

The Sports Museum, Daffney, Alabama

The Olympic Village Collection, Colorado Springs, Colorado





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