The allure of Italy has captivated the imagination of painters, sculptors, architects and photographers for centuries. The historian and author of “As the Romans Do: An American Family's Italian Odyssey,” Alan Epstein, will lead a lively discussion highlighting the timeless images, feminine archetypes, and architectural grandeur that characterize Italian art and culture. The talk and exhibit will be held at the Gerald Bland Gallery, 1262 Madison Ave. New York, Thursday, December 15th, 2011, at 6.30 pm.
Diane Epstein, a renowned American photographer, has made Rome her home since 1995, while regularly traveling to the U.S. and abroad for exhibitions and photo journeys. She will be exhibiting her latest works at a show entitled: “Angels, Goddesses, and the Spirit of Italy,” and will take part in the event.
Diane Epstein’s message is unequivocal. “The eternal spirit lives amongst the streets of Rome and all throughout Italy. You can see it in the grandeur of the statues and angels that hover above us. Ageless, timeless, breathless. Standing on the Ponte Sant'Angelo across from the castle with a row of Bernini figures towering over the bridge -- it seems to put one's size, age and relevance in perspective. I look upward waiting for a bird to spread its wings at the same angle as my chosen angel. Pazienza is what is required, waiting patiently for the light, allowing things to come to you in their own time. I wander into a cloister and I'm moved by a dreaming female with sculpted hair, tears on her tranquil visage, and to the hilltown of Frascati, just outside of Rome, into the secret gardens of Villa Aldobrandini, transfixed by the exposed, exqusite feminine form, with folded robes barely covering her. It is the respect for the ageless beauty that reminds me to focus on what is real, what is substantial enough to endure. This propels me to try and create something that speaks to the height, depth and breath of these elements, and to take notice of the angels and goddesses that surround us
“It has always been my artistic challenge and purpose to inspire others to view la Citta' Eterna in a new way -- to portray her classic harmony and authenticity, to reveal her infinite layers so that one can touch her texture, feel her golden glow, be in her presence. After almost two decades of roaming the back alleys and hidden treasures of Rome and beyond, I can still turn a corner and be surprised by her architectural genius, the shape of her arches and cupolas, and the sheer inconceivable notion that she still stands, sometimes in ruins, with her intensely hued crumbling walls and stratified depth of being.”
Epstein’s unique technique is what sets her art apart from other photographers, with an approach she has perfected, called “fresco photography”. She shoots numerous photos in an area and then layers them to create an array of colors, depth and texture. Epstein explains further: “In Italy not only are there layers beneath the surface, with millennia of ruins buried underground, but also in the environment surrounding us: from the paint on the walls to the antiquity of the ancient olive groves. I visualize my surroundings through layers, and Italy, with its crackling walls and sensual contours, offers a marvelous landscape from which to create new depth and innovative interpretation.”
The subject matter for this upcoming exposition will be a combination of architecture, nature, and the human form, reflecting the rich heritage and beauty that is imbued by Rome, Venice, and the Italian countryside. The way in which Epstein portrays these fragile yet powerful elements that have sometimes endured for thousands of years leaves us to feel that the vulnerable and the eternal are inextricably tied, and serve to capture our most ardent attention.
Epstein’s work beckons us to explore with grace, play at the art of life, and maneuver the mysterious labyrinth of our environment to search for the exquisiteness and splendor of inspiration. Diane Epstein invites us to see Italy anew, reminding us of the intricate balance that defines these fervent landscapes and refined cityscapes, rendering them undeniably resplendent, enchanting, delicate and timeless.
Alan Epstein, the presenter during the evening of the event, holds a Ph.D. in European History from New York University, and is an author and expert on Italian life and culture. He has been profiled in national and international magazines, has appeared in TV programs, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, in documentaries, and is sought after as a keynote speaker and guest on national and international radio. He is known for his infectious humor, inspirational style, and depth of knowledge, and is the founder of As the Romans Do, an association that offers corporate and private escorted tours, special events, team building activities, and presentations and retreats in Rome and Italy.
Diane Epstein has exhibited her work widely in Italy, including at the American Academy in Rome, the American Embassy in Rome, the Belgian Ambassador’s Residence, Paolo Antonacci Gallery, John Cabot University, and the museum at Palazzo Boccarini in Amelia, Umbria. She continues to exhibit her images in the U.S and is currently represented at the Gerald Bland Inc. gallery on Madison Ave. in New York City, at the Panoptican Gallery in Boston, and the Susan Calloway Gallery in Washington DC. Epstein has had numerous commissions for public and private installations, collectors and corporate clients, including Swiss Re and the Venice Biennale..
The exhibition, Angels, Godesses and the Spirit of Italy runs from December 15th through January, 31, 2012 at the
Gerald Bland Gallery
1262 Madison Ave.
New York, New York