Monday, March 11, 2013

Pietro Piccoli's Vaguely Cubist Mediterranean

Paintings by Pietro Piccoli (b. 1954) are usually found in galleries in wealthy, but non-big city places such as Carmel-by-the Sea and Palm Desert in California. That's because his paintings are bright, stylized, reality-based works with none of the snark and irony found in the art scenes of New York or San Francisco.

I think they're pretty nice even though some of the effects he uses to set his work apart can interfere. And of course, viewing a bunch of them together makes them seem stereotypical. Actually, seeing a collection of works by almost any artist reveals a sameness. That might be because it's simply due to a painter's personality or perhaps because economic survival requires producing work in a distinctive manner. In any case, Piccoli's style has evolved slightly over time, perhaps because his stuff seems to sell well and he can now trade on his name rather than the exact kind of paintings that launched his career in the American galley scene.

I haven't been able to find much biographical information on the Internet; this at least goes on for a couple of hundred words.


Alghero - Sardegna

Barconi a Riposo
The square, lens-like shape in the middle is typical of the Picolli works that I first noticed eight or nine years ago in Carmel. He seems to have abandoned this career-launching quirk, generally a good move on his part.

Harbor scene

Warm Harbor

Still life

Paese sui Colle Romani


Stephanie Berry said...

I like these paintings. That style makes one feel that you're viewing them through a prism. Why is it galleries want artists to have a signature style btw?

Donald Pittenger said...

Stephanie -- I have no direct knowledge of galley policies, but an artist's style is a kind of trademark or market niche definition. The objective is for the artist (and the gallery owner and sales staff) to make a living. Artists teaching at colleges are under less pressure to follow this path.

I noted Piccoli's recent changes here and a couple of years ago mentioned that Michael Carson was changing his style.

Picasso, having made his reputation by 1914, could paint in any style he chose and still be able to afford fancy cars and houses in the Cote d'Azur.