Biography note


David Allio
David Allio is an international award-winning photographer and photojournalist whose portfolio ranges from fine art and portrature to sports and corporate work. Since 1974, his images have appeared on album covers, billboards, display advertising, and in movies, books, catalogs, calendars, magazines and other periodicals. His web site,, is updated monthly and contains over 100 nude figure artworks.

In 2002, this registered Nikon professional won his first of eight Photo of the Month awards from Photography-Unlimited of Japan. One of those was later honored as "Picture of the Year". He also received over 400 invitations for exhibitions, worldwide. Previously, Allio and his images were the subject of a 30-minute feature broadcast on PBS. The program entitled "Impressions" was produced by South Carolina Educational Television.

As a professional photojournalist, Allio has worked on three continents, photographing everything from natural and man-made disasters to a variety of professional sports. There have been years in which he has spent over one-half-million miles on the road to the next assignment.

This second generation Italian-American's nude figure images have been exhibited in museums, art galleries and private shows throughout the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and several European countries. His original Limited Edition Prints and Commissioned Works are prized by private collectors worldwide.

Allio also teaches. A former instructor at the University of Virginia, and a mentor to several young, talented photographers, he conducts lectures, seminars, and has been the featured artist/photographer in workshops and Artist-in-Residence programs.

On April 15, 1874, twenty-nine artists came together to present an exhibition in Paris, France, under the group name of the Societe Anonyme des Artistes. It was the first of what would be eight shows by this collective over a period of ten years. Although intentionally anonymous at the time, and a target of vicious attacks by traditionalist critics, the names of Renoir, Monet, Pissarro, and Cezanne now lead the list of Masters of Impressionism.

The name of the art style came from "Impression, Sunrise" a canvas by Monet. Originally intended to be a derogatory title for the non-traditional if not downright scandalous - for the period in which it was created - brushwork, the images of the Impressionist was a revolutionary approach - reflective of those revolutionary times - to the use of light, color and texture in artistic imagery.

"My figure nudes have been specifically influenced by the artists of the French Impressionist period," Allio said. "At the suggestion of contemporary talented artists, I attempt to study the style of these artists and to recreate their works in digital-image form. For variety, I use other historical master's images and sculptures - especially the artworks of Michelangelo, but the work of the men and women called Impressionists continues to inspire me and influence my personal portfolio."

The works of these Impressionism masters are a worthy artistic counterpoint to the realism of artistic modern photography. Both express the artist's right to reflect upon and recreate a reflection of a given subject.

"Many of these artists would begin with sketches or studies of an image before painting it," Allio continued. "In my digital rendition of an image, I begin with a photograph, then digitally enhance the figure study. The style approximates that of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet or Edgar Degas - three of my personal favorites."

Freed from the bond of studio work, some Impressionists began to work en plein-air, or in situ, enhancing the works of an earlier generation of Dutch and English landscape painters. Most portraits and still life works continued to be created in studios, however; and some landscapes were, by tradition, also completed there. Likewise, the concept of working outdoors is consciously reflected in Allio's digital art work, which is then finished in his "electronic studio."

The posing and mechanical techniques of these artists has also influenced Allio's images. The poses and settings are challenging to replicate in photography. The mechanical techniques of sketching and painting are even more difficult to translate into digital pixels.

Some examples of these posing techniques may be seen in the black-chalk-on-paper sketch by Degas for his "Study for A Scene of War in the Middle Ages," in the the Manet oil on canvas entitled "Olympia" which was in turn was a likeness of Titian's 1538 oil on canvas "The Venus of Urbino," and in a Post-Impressionist oil on canvas entitled "The Bathers" by Renoir.

The model in "Olympia" was, by the way, Victorine Meurent, a Salon-exhibited artist in her own right. The use of artists and photographers as models is a tradition which I, also, have attempted to continue. Their creative chemistry and freedom and understanding enhances the artistic process.

In addition to oils, the masters used chalks, pastels and charcoals on various surfaces in the development of their works. Camille Pissarro used pastels on canvas for his "The Seamstress." "Three Russian Dancers" by Degas is an example of pastels on paper. Renoir's "Nude in Sunlight" shows contrasting brushstrokes in oil on canvas.

"My decision to learn my craft by studying the styles of these Impressionists follows a long history of art instruction," Allio said. "Early students at the Louvre were expected to spend at least five years copying a master artist's techniques with the expectation that these styles would be perpetuated in the student's own work. To borrow influences from other artists is my gesture of respect to their talents."