Casino first stumbled upon his craft when eating shelled peanuts. He found one particular shell to look like him, so he drew a face on it, and thus his foray into painting nut characters was born. The self-taught artist then decided to paint people he admires, starting with Joey Ramone.
But painting a peanut isn’t as simple as it sounds. To begin, Casino studies images of the person he will paint. The next step is finding the peanut — the artist may sift through hundreds of nuts before he finds the perfect one. Once the perfectly-shaped peanut is found, the nut inside is extracted, and the shell is glued back together. A shell of wood filler is that spread onto the front, making for a smooth painting surface. Legs and a stand are added, followed by the arms once the painting is completed.
The tiny paintings can take up to 10 hours to complete. Some of Casino’s peanut portraits have included nutty renderings of Johnny Cash and June Carter, The Addams Family, the Sex Pistols, Andy Warhol, Wonder Woman and more. To keep the element of fun, Casino leaves the back of each character in its original peanut texture, to add a little surprise and giggle for the viewer. If Casino’s character tastes aren’t to your liking, the artist will also create custom peanuts for your pleasure.
+ Steve Casino