solo amicosante it's all a dream
Personal stories have always been the backbone of Wellfleet artist Vincent Amicosante’s paintings, but because he’s been in virtual coronavirus quarantine since March, his work has become even more intimate. Besides the chaise lounges, animals and Italian columns that often appear in his work, his large oil paintings now include his own image.
“The focus of this show are actually the two paintings that are kind of self-portraits,” he says. “It’s all about exploring within. I had no obligations to anyone or anything. I chose subject matter that was really personal.”
A new exhibition of his work, “solo amicosante: it is all a dream,” celebrates five months of work on two new paintings, along with other pieces of his work, and opens on Friday, Aug. 21 at Orleans Modern Art.
Amicostante’s dreams have often appeared on canvas and are influenced by his interest in subjects as diverse as 1920s and ‘30s erotica and Italy. His painted world is one of staged metaphors—sofas and chairs combined in unexpected locations, figures and fruit combined for their sexuality. The influence of his past life in California and travels to Italy are evident in his work.
While researching paintings by other artists, Amicosante found Jean Lecomte du Nouÿ’s “A Eunuch's Dream” (1874), in which a man experiences a vision of his love while smoking an opium pipe, but her ghostly companion is holding a knife dripping with blood, proof that the eunuch’s anatomy precludes him from being with her. The dreamy painting inspired Amicosante’s “One Man’s Dream,” a 60-by-52-inch oil on canvas. Amicosante put brush to canvas to paint his own imagery—he’s on a chaise lounge with his own cat on his lap, while a vision of a beautiful woman floats above him, between two columns, and behind him is a remembered Tuscany landscape. He has created his own magical story.
While in Italy, Amicosante was charmed by the 19th century philosopher-poet Giacomo Leopardi, particularly his most famous poem, which relates to oranges. The painting “Dream, Recanati in the Marche” comes from that experience, which he had always wanted to paint. “I put myself in it like I was really there,” he adds. And, indeed, it now appears that he was.
Vincent Amicosante’s paintings have been widely exhibited throughout the United States, including at The Cape Cod Museum of Art, The Cahoon Museum, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, the Cotuit Center for the Arts and he is a member of the Copley Society of Art in Boston. Vincent participated in the 2009 Biennale Internazionale Dell’ Arte Contemporanea in Florence, Italy. Trained at New York City’s School of Visual Arts, he has established a reputation as a magic-realist painter.
Vincent is represented by Harmon Gallery in Wellfleet, and Orleans Modern Art.