A painter of fantastic realities, Donato Giancola spent his formative artistic years studying paintings in New York museums. Inspired by figurative painters such as Rembrandt and Rubens, Giancola employs a classical style to depict mythical creatures and characters. The artist's portraits of dragons and mermaids, warrior goddesses and other characters have adorned numerous book covers and even a set of playing cards for the popular game Magic: The Gathering. His 2011 postage stamp series commemorating famous astronaut voyages suggests that science fiction and classical myth are not the only sources of otherworldly possibilities. Surreal yet drawn from real events, Mercury: The Messenger features a white-suited astronaut hovering in space, the ethereal blue of the Earth's atmosphere distantly glowing beneath him.