Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) became famous for asking this question in Sonnet 43, How Do I love thee? Let me count the ways. In the case of the latest show at Fred Torres Collaborations for Gaetano Pesce that the three kinds of love count more than the sum of its parts. This was his first solo New York exhibition in 25 years in which you behold Pesce’s multitude of talents as an architect, designer and artist.
L’ABBRACCIO (meaning the hug or embrace) refers to one of the pieces ,which was a cabinet design in 2009 of two people locked in a passionate hold. Each room signified degrees of love: Eros, Philos and Agape. Splashes of red and the heart were obvious in terms of the theme but what is the underbelly of this show was how each artwork managed to hug you into the realm of his artistic brilliance. If the eponymous title refers to an embrace then Pesce’s oeuvre gathers the attention of the viewer to scope out the details of what he is passionate about. The need to express is palpable and one is flush with admiration for the aesthetics that Pesce has been redefining. The twin towers cabinet connected with a heart held love aloft above everyone in the room. At times love can be luscious, violent, gracefully whispered or loudly declared but the sheer ingenuity of his design keeps all in a trance. One can’t help but be delighted or intrigued about the pieces culled for this exhibition.
The drawings, maquette, film and furniture design are all essential parts to loving the work of Pesce. There is a stark honesty about the items in their respective room. In the first room was Eros where the passionate ideals bleed strong on the crucifix and the droplets on the stones reiterated that. It is the visual of bleeding for your art and blood as we know is a life force. In the middle room was where Philos or fraternal love resonated in the drawings where an idea of going underground envelops over you. Finally the Agape or unconditional love room is all about enlightenment as demonstrated by the lit World Trade Center cabinet towers that cast a soft glow on everyone who were drawn to it.
There is no wrong or right way to love as much as finite ways to embody or profess it. What is clear by Pesce is his love to create and express what is in his heart – art that continues to be passionate, introspective and enlightened.
Gaetano Pesce: L’ABBRACCIO / On View: March 21 – May 25, 2013
Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 am – 6 pm
Fred Torres Collaborations. 527 West 29th Street, 3rd Floor. NYC , NY 10001
art review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
art images from Fred Torres Collaborations taken by Sebastian Piras & John Rohrer
event photography by: Max Noy