The Gallery at Still River Editions
Drawings by Chris Durante
March 11 - May 31, 2013
Artist's reception Saturday April 6, 2013 4 pm - 6 pm
Chris Durante: Untitled Ball Player #1, Untitled Ball Player #2 © 2013
Ball Players is a solo exhibition of new drawings by Chris Durante of Redding, Connecticut. Durante uses ink and collage elements to express his nearly life-long interest in all things baseball, in particular the characters that inhabit the "cathedrals of baseball". The stylized figures convey the attitude and soul of players past and present, real and imaginary.
I think my first out-of-body experience occurred when I was eight years old. My dad took me to Yankee Stadium for the first time to see the Yankees play the Senators. Nothing prepared me for that first walk through the tunnel. Every light was on, illuminating the field, mocking the efficiency of the sun on that cloudless, clear day. I didn’t know anything could be that big or green. I mean GREEN. I was both above it and in it. Time slowed. My sense of sound was heightened, turning into frequencies that were new, yet familiar; everything was amped. The sensation halted only by my dad asking me what I wanted on my dog.
I had never imagined anything so perfect.
And then there were giants.
I got up close to the visitors dugout where Frank Howard was signing autographs. He was huge but did not seem to be dwarfed by the scale of the stadium. He, and the other players who were taking batting practice, seemed right at home. I had been reading Greek myths and this setting gave me a visual to put with the stories of Ajax and Hercules. Nothing would ever be the same.
I love the game of baseball, its lore, history, and aesthetic. Statistics and teams, while interesting, are secondary considerations. I am equally at home in a sold out cathedral of baseball or watching a group of kids hash it out in an abandoned lot.
It seems that our lives are spent trying to regain the innocence of that first experience when everything was new, mythic and unsullied by quotidian demands. These drawings are my attempt to get back to that place.
I was born in the Bronx under the watchful gaze of the Eisenhower administration. It was summer, and the Yankees were in first place. Somehow I have managed to make it through to the current debacle. During this time I have attended school, watched a lot of television, gained and lost about a thousand pounds, made and spent money, fallen in and out of love, suffered through George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin and A-Rod, made a lot of drawings (some of which reside at addresses far more tony than mine), been witness to miracles large and small, broken bread with scoundrels and sages (often at the same meal) seen walk-off home runs and ninth-inning strike outs, met and fell in love with the woman who is my wife, started a business, taught, read too many books, eaten too many pastrami sandwiches and not enough broccoli rabe, said yes when no would have been better and vice versa, etc. All my experience and education has led me to one immutable truth: life is a coin flip—one side you get to buy candy, the other you have to pay the dentist.
Seriously, I graduated from Western Connecticut State University in 1981 with a bachelor of arts in graphic design. Three years of evening extension classes at the School for Visual Arts in New York helped me make the transition from commercial to fine art. Since 1981, I have operated my own framing and art handling business in Danbury. My clients include the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, the State of Connecticut Prison Arts Program, and many local and international artists. I have been teaching drawing at Norwalk Community College since 2001. I also work with the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum as a preparatory, framer, educator, and sometime lender and sponsor. The hard fact of having to put food on one’s table has made me see the wisdom of coupling one’s artistic endeavors with a sense of business.
About the Gallery at Still River Editions
The Gallery at Still River Editions has hosted national and regional photographers and artists since 1989. In spring 2011, after a brief hiatus from exhibiting new work, the gallery returned to hosting shows on a quarterly basis. The Gallery's mission is to show traditional and digital photographs and fine artwork, and to be a center of creativity and connection in the Danbury area.
The Gallery at Still River Editions is open during normal business hours 8:30am - 5 pm Monday through Friday, and during posted hours for special events. The Gallery does not accept unsolicited submissions at this time.
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