Portrait of a Skeptic, 1996
Carlo Pittore: Studio Life
Artist Carlo Pittore lived in New York City and Italy, but it was Maine that he called home. After his move in 1987, his studio in Bowdoinham became a hub of creative activity for artists who were both friends and students. A passionate individual known for his outspoken nature and fervent activism, Pittore made a significant impact on the visual arts in the state. He died in 2005, leaving a vast quantity of paintings and works on paper that attests to his vigorous work ethic and a life spent in the studio. While the artist played a central role in the mail art movement, which gained popularity in the 70s and 80s, this exhibition focuses on his life-long practice of drawing and painting from the live model.
Studio Life invites the viewer to contemplate the relationship between artist and model. For Pittore, the rapport he had with his models allowed him to capture his subjects at their most intimate and vulnerable states. Pittore’s depictions of nude subjects are unapologetically direct; the poses are candid and his models not idealized. The straightforward nature of these works draw connections to Lucian Freud, Alice Neel and Sylvia Sleigh. A significant quantity of the artist’s creative output focuses on male subjects. These works provides a glimpse into Pittore’s life as a gay man, yet he never wanted to be labeled solely as a gay artist. The exhibition also features an array of portraits sensitively captured in ink and watercolor. Pittore’s skillful use of line and daring application of color is used to render the diverse acquaintances and many friends he encountered throughout his vibrant life.