Unlike snowflakes, one egg looks pretty much like another egg. But for Carlo D’Alessio, every day must be Easter, when eggs assume individuality - donning shades of multiple colors, as well as speckles/blotches of varying design.
D’Alessio’s 48 x 80“ study of eggs is part of his current exhibition at Michael H. Lord Gallery in the Uptown Design District of Palm Springs. It and two other works reveal a closer-to-Earth perspective than D’Alessio’s surreal and cosmic acrylic-on-board paintings that have been shown at the gallery since it moved to California in 2008.
If D’Alessio takes risks (and he does), so does Michael Lord, who has dedicated the entire front portion of his 7,500-square-foot gallery to the three new paintings (one per wall) in the exhibition running through April 30. Granted, the paintings in their large scale demand space, but they also command space. The eggs, in particular, capture attention for appearing almost as if they are backlit.
Anyone who has ever marveled at a bird’s ability to turn twigs into a home can find natural beauty in D’Alessio’s microscopic, bird’s-eye view of a nest. Simultaneously abstract and precise, the 60 x 42” painting reminds one of his earlier works in one aspect: it conceivably could represent a nebula from the windshield of the Starship Enterprise. D’Alessio once more exhibits a mastery of color to give depth without relying, as many artists do, merely on shadows.
In a clear departure from the other two paintings (indeed, one could say from his entire body of work), D’Alessio offers up a true-to-life-scaled window, sheer drapery veiling a hedge of Carolina cherry - but for a few-inch opening that suggests someone pulled the fabric panels apart to peak outside. The folds in the drapes and the diffused/bright lighting are so authentic that the artist and gallery wisely decided to hang the painting without a frame. In fact, were it not for D’Alessio’s “cropping” (not showing the edges of the window), one would almost expect to see a curtain rod above the 42 x 96“ painting.
Radiating the warmth of his Italian heritage and humor of growing up in the Bronx, D’Alessio follows his passion methodically, giving each of his paintings the time and attention they deserve.
“People tell me I should be more spontaneous,” D’Alessio says. “No, you be spontaneous. I will be what I want to be.”
And that is exactly what his fans and collectors want him to be. True artistry cannot - nor should it be - rushed.
After more than 35 years as a visual artist, D’Alessio has tapped into a part of his brain - perhaps even his soul - that makes his collective body of work the best it has been. To miss the current exhibition at Michael H. Lord Gallery would be akin to missing the final shuttle launch: You’ll live, but regret a lost opportunity.