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INTERVIEW: Painter of Peanuts has work on display at Gallery OTR

Steve Casino: Peanut artist on display in OTR
Steve Casino: Peanut artist on display in OTR
Posted at 4:38 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 16:38:04-05

CINCINNATI -- Things are getting nutty in Over-The-Rhine, with an artist Steve Casino's "38 Peanuts and One Coconut" show on display at Gallery OTR.

MTV viewers, “Game of Thrones” watchers and die-hard Ramones fans may have seen his work before, because his figurines of famous people and characters painted on peanuts have a fan following.

He’s been creating these works for six years, has more than 106,000 followers on Instagram and 88,000 fans on Facebook. 

“I like peanuts, actually, I like to eat peanuts in the shell and one day while eating them, I noticed peanuts look like people,” Casino said. “The have a little head and torso. So as a practical joke, I drew myself on one.”

The rest is history. His likeness of the Ramones ended up in the Grammy museum. MTV commissioned his “Game of Thrones” peanut set for segments recapping the episodes.

Each character takes about 10 hours to create and Casino usually goes through a vendor to find the perfect peanut. Sometimes he's able to find them at local grocery stores and at times he's gone through more than 200 nuts to find the perfect one. 

This is important because he makes sure his works are as accurate as possible.

“I do thorough research and I find all these people and all the right poses,” Casino explained.

For example, his Beatles piece features the Fab Four during their famous performance on the “Ed Sullivan Show.”

“So Paul McCartney plays a left-handed bass, so he has a left handed bass here,” he said. “Even down to the detail on Ringo (Starr’s) drum.”

His works can be viewed and purchased in Cincinnati’s Gallery OTR, 1121 Walnut St. Gallery OTR, owned by DAAP graduate Mark Byron, opened in August 2017.

You can see more of them here.

Watch the full Facebook Live interview below: