Milan-based artist Danilo Buccella's paintings feature young women frail, defiant, alone, and old beyond their years. They are iconic, beacons of a new age. At the risk of sounding like my parents, our children, especially the young woman I see in my daily life, are faced with nearly impossible physical goals. The visuals suggest a so-called beauty or desirability, even a cuteness which is relatively singular, and for most, unnatural, and just plain out of hand. Check out his painting on the left -- THE GUEST from 2005 (43 x 63 inches - oil on canvas).
Each painting features a lone figure - thin and pale, pensive and knowing of some truth formed by an unforgiving culture. They inhabit the night, mostly in pastoral clearings surrounded by curtains of back-lit trees and chilling tones. And, despite these haunting subjects, these harbingers of gloom and doom, Buccella manages to create a strange sense of comfort and warmth, as if there is something soothing in that pain - as if the aloneness is right and natural, and in a sense, purifying. Perhaps it's the multicolored fireflies or flowers that surround some, or the promise that the sleepless night must end with the light of the sun, a brighter future, albeit metaphorical, that makes it all seem okay.
And then there is the actual painting - how much Buccella achieves with so little paint. His thin veils of scumbled color create an atmosphere that is eerily real, while the somewhat translucent skin he gives his subjects allows you to see right through to their very souls, which could send a chill down your spin if you let it.
In the fireplace of the second floor of this narrow, three-story, 1837 building sits an audio player projecting earthly sounds - wind, squeaky porch swings, distant voices, rain, thunder, and crickets - adding even more atmosphere to these weighty works. - D. Dominick Lombardi
The Sound of Night
Thru March 31
Vanina Holasek Gallery
502 West 27th Street (between 10th/11th Avenue)
New York City
D. Dominick Lombardi is an artist with representation in Kasia Kay Art Projects and Lisa Boyle Gallery in Chicago, and Van Brunt Gallery in Beacon, NY; a writer with Sculpture, DART, & Magazine and NYARTS; and an independent curator.