Enjoy the fascinating sculpture portfolio of Irene Gennaro, and be sure to visit her website for more from this talented and prolific artist.
I was born to be an artist. I have been creating all my life. One of my earliest memories was when I was about seven years old. The clown Clara Bell presented a drawing that I submitted to a television show. It was held to the camera in full screen. The drawing of a daisy-like flower, covering the 8 ½ x 11-inch page opened the show. I was thrilled.
Growing up, my hands were never unoccupied as I drew, cut, pasted, painted, and even embroidered, anything I could think of. Recently the Gallery Tabla Rasa installed an exhibition titled “Obsession.” In addition, they presented a panel discussion which sought to unveil and enlighten the audience regarding the work of being an artist. Obsession is what compels an artist to work no matter how difficult their situation may be.
I Studied art in high school (Prospect Heights). We had four periods a day of art and once a week for three years we trekked over to the Brooklyn Museum art school for life drawing class. This was a wonderful experience as we could smell the oil paint throughout the school and encounter the ambience of an art school. In my senior year I was awarded a summer scholarship to Sculptors and Ceramics Workshop, in Greenwich Village. Here we worked with wax, clay, and plaster, and I welded for the first time.
During this period I had no idea my eventual path would take me to carving. It was only years later and after encountering Tibetan Buddhism that I knew carving was my ultimate mission – obsession. It was awareness or an awakening, which occurred after several years of reading and thinking about the meaning contained in these books. Somehow I felt a sudden and distinct need to carve. This was remarkable, for my father had been a stone carver in Italy as a young man in the 1930’s. I began to carve in a corner of my living room and later we turned the bedroom into a studio. We slept on the living room floor with sleeping bags.
Over time I joined arts organizations including but not limited to: 55 Mercer Gallery, a collective with a well known reputation, and The Sculptors Guild where I have been a member for some time and currently serve as a member of the Board of Directors. This summer of 2014, the Guild will be exhibiting at Governors Island for the sixth time, in an exhibition titled Transformation. Recently I exhibited with two collectives in the Fountain Art Fair, at The 69th Regiment Armory, The Hullabaloo Collective and The Sculptors Guild.
Currently, I continue to develop my Casa Famiglia series. This body of intimate work depicts the iconic image of the house/home in three dimensions, using wood primarily. The initial image that occurred during a dream was a house with a bird on its roof. In 2012, I exhibited the first eight from the series at the Sculptors Guild Gallery in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Presently, I am working on, a slightly larger piece, and incorporating several poems by Emily Dickinson.
There are several dream images I have seen depicting birds. In one scenario, the birds appear to be wearing human garb and are visiting a doctors waiting room. The essence of this event later became my fellowship project, Metro Birds, at The 2006 National Academy Museum and School of Fine Art.
My Spirit Messengers are a series of deeply carved and painted bird imagery. It is a group that has been exhibited across the US including solo exhibits at the Washington County Museum of Fine Art, Md., The Kentuck Museum, Edison C. College, Ft. Myers, Fl., Washington Square Windows, NYU and The Trenton City Museum, among others.
My inspirations appear suddenly and fully formed, in dream or during a waking state, often in color. I enjoy frequenting the museums and galleries of New York and seeing the work of my friends.
With a body of strong and unique work, I continue to make submissions and seek representation. This requires a great deal of effort and time, which takes me away from my studio practice. However I have made many good friends and the acquaintance of other artists. My drawing practice continues to nourish and enlighten me with surprising imagery from the subconscious. Just a few weeks ago, I began to draw on a group of raw wood spheres. I am surprised to find that I have created 12 unique designs and quite enjoyed the process.
In 2013 I developed a group of pen drawings incorporating my signature imagery and creating overall patterns which intrigue me.
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