Friday, May 4, 2012

The Yard Sale Years & Kodachrome Memories - Cynthia and Tom Zarrilli @ Salt Creek Artworks

Cynthia Zarilli, "Mt. Rushmore"
This is two shows in one, from a husband-and wife team from Atlanta, Cynthia and Tom Zarrilli. Cynthia has the front gallery at Salt Creek Artwortks. Her show is comprised of paintings inspired by her father's Kodachrome slides. That magnificent film, the only film designed by artists (musicians) Leopold Mannes and Leopold Godowski -- in their basement. The slides center around highlights of life, things like vacations, social occasions,  and rites of passage. What we're used to seeing in family albums or, if one goes back far enough, interminable or magical slide presentations in darkened rooms.

Cynthia goes beyond merely painting from the slides. She explores and questions the world they depict, how we see it, and more. In "Mt. Rushmore", we see what superficially seems to be a vacation snap, and in a sense, it is. What we see is the familiar monument in the background, but what is monumental are the three women and baby in the foreground. The one in the middle is holding a baby, and is smiling at the photographer, who was probably the father. The older woman on the right, looks at the mother with a sense of accomplishment, of passing on a generation. The woman on the right looks wistully into space. Is she a spinster? Note the color of their garb. From left to right, gray, red, pink over a gray skirt. These are the unsung American heroines, deserving of their own monument. 

C. Zarrili, "Happy Hour"

Work by Cynthia Zarrili
The sensuousness of the time is a repeating theme. In "Happy Hour", we see it in a group of men in bathing suits drinking around a moored boat on a dock. We know who the captain is by his cap. The curves of the boat tells us it's the 50's. The men, unself-conscious and relaxed, carry on. Note that the captain and guy to the left have no tans at all. They do not do this often, or maybe it's early summer. On the right is "Bathing Beauties", the feminine equivalent of "Happy Hour". Three women, looking like The Graces, pose stylishly in the convention of the day at the beach. In the background, the space is divided 25% sky, 25% water, 50% sand. Note the woman on the right seems perhaps a little self-conscious. Compare this image to the one of the men.

C. Zarrali, "Tide Pool"

Work by C. Zarrali

There are a few paintings that are outside the "Kodachrome Memories" series in the show. This pair of seaside Venuses stand out. The one on the right is titled: "Waiting on a Wave". At home in water, these figures are at ease in their element.

Tom Zarrili, "Straw Things"

Tom Zarrili's show is comprised of photographs taken at garage sales. These sales are the purge side to binge consumerism. They're green in that they re (or up) cycle, and represent a snapshot of the history of the sellers. In the photo at left, we see a woman posing on a cold morning next to two enigmatic ornamental (?) straw "things".

Tom Zarrili, "Angel and Voodoo"

Sometimes the way the items are arranged form still lives with their own stories. Two fans from a funeral home, no less, and a voodoo cross between them. Reality is stranger than fiction.

Tom Zarrili, "Dresses"
Two women strike poses, the redhead in front, holds up a dress to herself. The one on the back competes for attention with her pose. [The white dots in the picture above are reflections I could not avoid].

Congratulations to Tom and Cynthia Zarrili and Salt Creek Artworks for a fascinating show. This show will be up Friday and Saturday, and all of next week through Saturday.


The Yard Sale Years & Kodachrome Memories - Cynthia and Tom Zarrilli from Atlanta have a joint show at Salt Creek Artworks, 1600 4th St. South, St Pete. Free Admission. Through May 12th.

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