A different perspective: One of the several hats that I wear here at The Lincoln County News is that of copy editor. I edit the many press releases that the paper receives. Recently, one from Gold/Smith Gallery in Boothbay Harbor caught my attention.
The press release spoke of Carlo Albucci, who was intriguingly described as “a painter of curious happenings.” The accompanying photograph of one of his paintings featured a clergyman driving a red motorcycle and carrying a nun in a sidecar that is adorned with a black logo-like image of the devil with his hair blowing in the wind.
This information piqued my curiosity, causing me to brave the inevitable traffic congestion in Boothbay Harbor to see what else Albucci had to offer at Gold/Smith.
It was decidedly worth the trip. Not only were Albucci’s pieces a refreshing delight to take in, but gallery co-owner (and painter) John Vander was a lot of fun to talk to.
Vander, who splits his time between Boothbay Harbor and Italy, said he met Albucci in Italy four years ago and was so taken by the artwork of the former music-box maker that he started bring Albucci’s work back to the U.S. with him to exhibit at Gold/Smith Gallery. Describing the work as “gentle, satirical” art, “not caustic,” he noted that Albucci’s paintings often depict “ecclesiastical people as being human.”
“Honesty” features four nuns seated around a card table mid-game, as one is in the process of sneaking a card under the table via her foot to the nun seated across from her. “Pizza Divina” pictures nuns hanging out eating at a beachside pizza kiosk as a clergyman and a nun work behind the counter wearing chef’s hats in addition to their regular religious garb.
One piece depicts a nun riding a moped with what might be a viola strapped on her back. Her passenger, another nun who is wearing a habit and black-and-white-striped tights, teeters facing backwards on the back of the vehicle, leaning on the driving nun for support.
Some of Albucci’s pieces include penguins as well. One, “Winter Sports II,” features a penguin with a red balloon seemingly disrupting an ecclesiastical ice hockey game. “He thinks they’re the same thing,” Vander told me matter-of-factly of the nuns and penguins.
Albucci’s paintings, which are all painted on masonite as opposed to a traditional canvas, are a lot of fun to study. Most of the mostly teal, red, black, and white pieces are hung on the walls at Gold/Smith, but a number of them are tucked away in areas below the ones on the walls of the cozy venue. It’s worth seeking them all out for their playfulness and for their refreshing look at a world that is so often treated with strict seriousness.
Sometimes it’s good to see what’s going on artwise in other parts of the world in order to get a different perspective, one that can refresh one’s way of looking at things. Thankfully, Gold/Smith offers art lovers this opportunity.
Albucci’s paintings will be on exhibit through Thursday, July 19.
Also, watch for Priscilla May Alden’s colorful “Tapestries, Monoprints, and Whimsy” show, which opens at Gold/Smith July 26 and runs through Aug. 21.
Find Gold/Smith Gallery on Facebook.
(Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write me a letter in care of The Lincoln County News, P.O. Box 36, Damariscotta, ME 04543. I love to hear from readers.)