Andrew Vollo, president of Vollo Transportation Group Inc. (VTG) and a fixture in New York City’s Taxicab and For-hire Vehicle industry for over 40 years, is holding his first art exhibit of acrylic paintings at LaGuardia Community College. Vollo, a TLC-authorized, full-service education provider, opened his show, “Traffic,” on August 28.
“People who know me through my work in the industry may not know that I’ve always been an artist,” explained Vollo. “In the 1970’s, I studied art history at Queens College during the day and drove a taxi at night. This dual existence allowed my mind to learn to separate and withdraw something from something else and thus quickly identify and embrace the abstract form of art. To me, the abstract is something that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colors, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect.”
Vollo calls his exhibition “a shout-out to the proletarian, the working class.” His abstract art is based on real-world objects where forms have been simplified. “Whether it was American abstract painters from the New York school, to the meditative abstract paintings of Agnes Martin, or the minimalist works of Brice Marden or Frank Stella, their essence was the same and they became my mentors,” he said. “I learned from their work that my experience on the road was my subject and everything that surrounded me was my palate of endless inspiration. Driving a taxi provided me time to question whether I was an artist or a taxi driver – but I discovered I am in fact both – a sort of hybrid.
“When I would get stuck in traffic, I chose to no longer see the back of a filthy truck full of graffiti but instead a Rothko or a Mondrian,” he added. “As this phenomenon began to occur more and more, it became clear, just as clear as pop culture was to Andy Warhol or Jasper Johns, my opus would one day derive from traffic where I found my authentic self.”
Over his years in the industry, Vollo forged a close working relationship with the TLC, consulting with the agency in the conception, design and implementation of many successful driver training programs for professional drivers, improving street safety and customer service. Through VTG (www.vtginstitute.com), he continues to strive to improve the training, safety and well-being of TLC-licensed drivers, and of the for-hire industry as a whole.
Vollo’s paintings will be on display until November 4, 2018, Monday-Saturday, from 8:00am to 10:00pm at LaGuardia Community College’s E Building, Atrium Lobby Showcase Gallery East, located at 31-10 Thomson Avenue (the best entrance is on Van Dam Street, right across from the TLC’s Long Island City location).
For more information, call 718.705.1111.