Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1942 John Reilly received his early art training at the School of Art and Design in Manhattan, where he studied advertising art. By the age of 23 he operated his own mid-town based sales and promotion agency, eventually expanding the business to service such accounts as Bacardi Rum, Johnson and Johnson, Nabisco, and KLM Airlines.
John began painting in 1985 with the same focus, creativity and energy that drove his success in advertising. He studied painting in New York City at the Art Student League, the National Academy of Design with Sam Adoquei, and privately with Burt Silverman and Everett Raymond Kinstler. In New Jersey he attended the Newark School of Fine Art.
John’s exhibition history includes such venues as Nabisco Gallery, Audubon Artist’s at the Salmagundi Club, the National Academy of Design. He has had one person shows at the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, the Watchung, Art Center, and the Robert Wood Johnson Children’s Specialized Hospital. He demonstrates figure painting for art associations throughout New Jersey.
John's self-portrait to the top of this biography is characteristic of his versatility. Reilly’s paintings are spontaneous studies done in oil. His subjects range from belly dancers to corporate executives, quiet churches to roaring roller coasters, all painted in vibrant colors. Reilly uses his subjects to express his passion for variety and spontaneity. Bold use of color is tempered by sensitive brushwork. His goal is to capture the unique visual essence of his subjects.