We are poised in a time of change. Staten Island artist Antonio DeSantis took this flux seriously when he developed a series of paintings that make a political, scientific, and environmental statement. Hurricane Sandy, the upgraded tropical storm that left a wake of death and destruction here on Staten Island as well as throughout the rest of New York City was a topical and dramatic mixed media painting 32” x 48” entitled Sandy that captured the frenetic eye of the storm at its worst in a rich circular motion of figures and emotions that was drenched in dramatic, vibrant color. This painting alone is worth a visit to Art Lab, housed on the beautiful campus of Snug Harbor Cultural & Botanic Center on Staten Island’s North Shore region. The exhibit entitled “Time For Change” opened today and runs through April 27 at Art Lab. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday through Sunday 10. a.m. to 5 p.m. Price of admission is free. The exhibit opened today (April 5).
Other paintings depicted driving smaller, compact cars to save energy, space exploration, and politics all executed in dramatic detail. There was also a small collection of pencil drawings that were also expressive and eye-catching at the same time. DeSantis, in person displays the same energy and interest in the world around him as his collection of mixed media paintings, collages, and drawings suggest. He is a self-described modern, expressionistic artist that draws his inspiration from Picasso and Salvatore Dali. He told Examiner that he is influenced by 16th Century and 17th Century art and Rococo paintings as well. He states that all his paintings have a “curved” quality that is circular and expresses emotion through abstraction and expression.
DeSantis added that his art is derived from “interest in the reality, whatever I have inside. I painted two paintings on Hurricane Sandy. Saving energy, the environment, riding bicycles, people who have nothing to eat, food scarcity, and political leadership” drives his art work as important subjects, added the artist. “The reality of new idol groups, going to another planet, a group of scientists soft landing to explore space are reference points,” added the artist.
Work was featured in 2012 at Manhattan's Agora Gallery
In 2012 DeSantis exhibited his work for a year at the Agora Gallery in Manhattan. “The work of Antonio DeSantis represents humanity at its most pristine and turbulent levels, taking on the surreal aspects of a futuristic cityscape alongside the time-honored serenity of a pastoral myth. This unique combination of evocations creates compelling work that rouses the viewer to embrace reality as the malleable sum of our collective imaginings, adds The Agora Gallery on its web site. “DeSantis points his work towards strife and the perseverance of hope through his exploration of social and political subjects. Through combining humble faces, structural forms and imagery pulled from mythological ritual, the artist imbues his pictorial scenes with great emotional significance, filtering in varied elements from Italian baroque, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism.”
Added Agora Gallery in their web site: “His (DeSantis) use of oil and acrylic together creates depth, while the hard surfaces DeSantis uses to render his scenes, namely wood panels, canvas and Plexiglas, give him a greater freedom for the many materials he layers on while bringing his work into consciousness.”
Antonio DeSantis currently lives and works in Staten Island, New York. Enjoy the frenetic and energetic work of the emotional, abstract expressionist artist Antonio DeSantis. Staten Island art fans you won’t be disappointed. For more on the emotional drawn artistic world of Antonio DeSantis and “Time for Change” visit http://www.artlab.info.