John de la Vega, born Juan Carlos Gomez de la Vega in Buenos Aires, Argentina, came to America in 1961 to fulfill a childhood dream. At age fifteen he launched a distinguished career in portrait painting of ever increasing success. He has painted many famous personalities: President Ronald Reagan, show business and sports figures, and CEO's from the nation's top corporations.
In 1993 his portrait of renowned artist / director Julie Taymor ("The Lion King", "Titus") received the Distinguished Achievement in Portraiture Award at John Howard Sanden's National Portrait Seminar in Atlanta.
In 1971, while still a young man, John de la Vega was honored with a ten-year retrospective of his paintings, sculptures, and photographs at the Miami Museum of Modern Art in Miami, Florida, a then international showcase, no longer in existence. On the same year he won top honors at the First Pan American Art Exhibition, with artists representing the United States, Canada, and all Latin American countries.
John de la Vega's other pursuits have included undergraduate and graduate studies in Psychology (BA Cum Laude, The American University, Washington, D.C.), composing contemporary classical music for the piano, creating and conducting the Thou Art Seminar in Art and Successful Living, writing and directing films, and teaching workshops on painting. In 1978 Solar Editions published his book of poems “The Mirror and the Door” in Spanish and English. In March of 1995, the artist had a critically acclaimed one-person show at the Zeitgeist Gallery in Norfolk, Virginia, and in the Fall of 1996 he participated in the group exhibition “USA in Germany” in the city of Cologne.
After three years at Carnegie Hall in New York, the artist is back painting and teaching close to his beloved nature on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, in his own words "ready to take off into space from this beach like the Wright brothers did a hundred years ago."
John de la Vega, Patricia Neal, Dr. Robert Schuller, Zubin Mehta, Nancy Reagan, Larry King, Astronaut Sally Ride, and others figures in the arts, business, and sports, were chosen as examples of outstanding personal achievement for "Dreaming and Winning in America", published by America's Press in 1985. A quote from the book:
"The child prodigy grew up to become the Renaissance Man . . . above all a philosopher who reads, studies, thinks constantly about everything human and everything divine, placing no limits on his mental scope. He believes in mastery. To see his work is to become aware of a master's hand, reflecting a sensitive nature, an intense humanity, a unique sense of beauty, romance, and magic. He works on his whole life as a creation, finding inspiration everywhere".