Monday, November 8, 2010

An evening with Franc D'Ambrosio at ArtHaus

James Bacchi, ArtHaus, yours truly and Franc D'Ambrosio
Photo by Robert Sokol

I had the pleasure of meeting Franc D'Ambrosio at the end of October at the opening of his exhibition at ArtHaus, here in San Francisco. It was a rainy evening but the gallery was packed for the invitation-only event. Franc introduced himself to me and we immediately started chatting about his paintings. I've been told that I become animated when I talk about design, well that's just what happens when you talk to Franc about his work. He explained in detailed the layering process and water jetting on some of his pieces. It was fascinating.

Franc D’Ambrosio with his Prayer Group I,60”x36”,
acrylic on canvas, private collection
Photo by: Joshua Weishaar

Mid Century Afternoon, 60”x48”,
acrylic on canvas

Ovation, 22”x28”,
acrylic on canvas

A little background on Franc..... The world was introduced to D’Ambrosio when Francis Ford Coppola cast him as Anthony Corleone, the opera singing son of Al Pacino in Coppola’s seven time Academy Award nominated film “Godfather III.” Franc starred in the film and also sang the Academy Award winning theme song, “Brucia la Terra”, both in the film and on the original film soundtrack.

And so began this varied artistic career. Years later, D’Ambrosio became known as “The Iron Man of The Mask”, and was awarded the distinction as the “World’s Longest Running Phantom”. His current one-man show, “I’ll Be Seeing YOUZ – A Bronx Boys Musical Perspective on World War II”, opened at The Raaz Room in San Francisco and is now touring.

On the subject of Franc D’Ambrosio – THE PAINTER, the self-taught artist recalls…“I began painting exactly the same way I began singing.One day I didn’t do it, and the next day I did. The act of painting rose from a very spiritual time for me, and I cherish this gift. I paint just as I strive to live; fearlessly. As I approach the blank canvas, I have a pallet in mind and the end result. Throughout the painting process, I abandon resistance and embrace expression and the relationship between myself and the canvas. As each work develops, I experience an intimacy which I define as the growing, revealing and discovering of one’s self in the presence of another. My relationship with the canvas mirrors my feeling and passion for prayer and God.”

ArtHaus introduced D’Ambrosio’s paintings in SUMMER TIME, a recent group exhibition of works by Gallery and Guest Artists. According to Gallerists James Bacchi and Annette Schutz, the response to THE PAINTERS’ work has been overwhelming. “D’Ambrosio paints much in the same way that he sings; directly from his soul, allowing his audience and the viewer a shared and extremely intimate experience with his work.”

“The Diva aka Lisa Vroman”, by Franc D’Ambrosio went to auction on September 24th at the 14th Annual ArtforAIDS benefiting the UCSF Aids Health project, and his work will be featured in a solo exhibition at Summit One Gallery, North Carolina in 2011.

Franc about to sing to us.... it was amazing!
Photo by Robert Sokol

Franc D’Ambrosio – THE PAINTER – continues at ArtHaus through December 23, 2010. ArtHaus is located at 411 Brannan Street, between 3rd and Ritch Street, San Francisco.
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Friday, 11am-6pm and Saturday, noon-5pm.

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