Expressionist sensuality in Eagle County |

Expressionist sensuality in Eagle County

Brenda HimelfarbVail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado With just a single glance at a painting, a viewer can create a story at the will of his imagination.

Everyone can have his soul invaded by the most profound recollections no effort of memory. Everything is summed up in one instant. A complete art which sums up all the others and completes them, the artist Paul Gauguin once said.The artwork of Italian artist Pino Daeni evokes such memories in his paintings that elicit feelings of nostalgia, warmth and family. Best known for his lovingly illustrated women, Daenis paintings often are set on vibrantly sunny beaches like those in the Mediterranean, where he grew up.Born Giuseppe Dangelico in Bari, Italy, just prior to World War II, Daeni was raised by the women left behind to keep the home fires burning during those uncertain times. Memories of these beautiful women his sisters, aunts and cousins maintaining domestic tranquility, would later infuse Daenis canvases. Found in various states of emotion, ranging from adoration to isolation, many of Daenis subjects are depicted in sensuous boudoirs, perhaps in anticipation of a lover or husband and depicted with a lyrical sensibility.Pino captures little private moments of these peoples lives, said Rayla Kundolf, director of Masters Gallery in Vail, where Daenis work is exhibited. He has the ability to capture timeless moments. It could be 40 years ago, or it could be today.

Pinos artistic journey began when his first grade teacher recognized his talent. But his father wouldnt encourage his gifted son, as he didnt believe that he could have a serious career as an artist. Even so Pino was resolute to follow his desire. After attending the Art institute of Bari, Pino left home to in 1960 to study at Milans Academy of Brera, where he was heavily influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and Macchiaioli. He soon perfected his skill and talent for painting nudes in the classical tradition of Sorlla, Boldini and Braque. He began doing illustrations for a textbook publisher and despite becoming one of the leading illustrators in Europe, Pino wanted to be closer to the center of the art world and moved to New York in 1979. By 1989 his oeuvre consisted of hundreds of book covers painted for writers such as Danielle Steele, Sylvie Summerfield and Amanda Ashley. In fact, over the years, Pino has illustrated over 3,000 books.Eager to leave the confinements of illustration, Pino began showing canvases to galleries in 1994. His immediate success was due to his years of training and his subtle, yet simple approach to his subjects, which showed a maturity of style, both distinctive and deeply rooted in art history.The earthiness found in early Fellini or Desica films can also be found in much of Pinos work and he remembers being influenced by these two directors as a young boy. For that reason, there is a sublime romanticism and allure to all of his themes to which the viewer is drawn. They are attracted to the mysterious and inner strength of his subjects.Men are attracted to the female image in Pinos work, explained Kundolf, whether it be their sister, wife or mother. And women just want to be that person in the painting.As one reviewer put it, Pinos subjects are feminine, ephemeral forms of flesh whose light and shadow suggest depth and mystery that are as much about how the artist feels as what he sees. It is that subjective illusion of space juxtaposed with an abstract acceptance of the paintings flat surface that sets Pinos work apart from other artists. Studying the images carefully, they often only reveal themselves completely, like fine wine, with quiet contemplation.

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