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Poppington Exhibition - LES, NYC

Friday July 26th, Poppington Art, a Lower East Side gallery in New York City opened with a new two man show, “Strictly Business”. Exhibiting along side the exceptionally talented fine artist, Brian Kirhagis is Fumero. Their two styles of painting with acrylic on canvas are very different but they also are complimentary. BK has a modern approach to surrealism. He renders urban contemporary subject matter with fantastical compositional designs for the viewer to explore, discover and interpret his morphed images within a message.

There is a book titled, “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu and there is an “art of hard work”. The title of the show “Strictly Business” was derived from the work ethics of both artists. If you are familiar with these two New York based artists, then you will know that they are both hard at work, everyday creating art in one form or another. Both of them like to instill the notion of ‘carpe diem‘ (seize the day as if it were your last) in our lifestyle and this propels our creativity.

Poppington gave Fumero, not only the privilege to exhibit his Table Series and scenescapes but also invited him to paint a 12′ x 40′ installation mural within the interior space of the gallery. He began the preliminary sketch on a Friday and finished six days later, two days before the opening. This mural Fumero considers as one of his most ambitious projects to date. The mural is a scenescape of the Lower East side of Manhattan where Poppington is located. Painting portraits fail in comparison to the amount of work that is involved when illustrating a linear perspective composition. Fumero employed two point perspective angles to create the scene. The placement angle of the buildings and the street go with the curve of the wall and create a sense that the viewer is actually outside walking through the neighborhood. When he began the mural there was a major heat wave, muggy, hot and humid. Wearing a respirator and hat made it even hotter.

“When I paint, especially murals, it is difficult to stop. I just keep on going, taking a break for a few minutes to inhale my food and get back to work. For six days I was dripping with grime and exhaustion, but the internal enthusiasm within me kept the flame of desire burning as a beacon until late night. I felt as though I was battling inside the arena, competing against myself and the beast; the wall. I love hard work and don’t shy away from an intense labor of love, on the contrary, I attack and embrace it.” — Fumero

This mural was a challenge for him due to rules of 2 point linear perspective, which was created during the Italian Renaissance 600 years ago. Adhering to parallel angles as opposed to non-geometric portrait lines takes more concentration and precision. It was all done free hand, no straight edged tools are ever used when he paints straight lines are ever used when fumeroizing. Some people from the crowd at the opening really took a liking to the painting “Itri, Italia” because of the straightness of the line work.

“I met a lot of nice people and enjoyed hearing them express themselves about the figures at the table, their expressions, the objects on the table and then asking, questions such as, “what was that person in the painting like?” One person I remember most was Peter, an older gentleman who spoke to me outside the gallery. He told me that there were a few things that he liked about my work but the first thing he liked was that it is “memorable”. That was the best compliment I could hear and is important to me as an artist.” — Fumero

My purpose, or mission is to achieve originality and integrity. For one’s art to stand apart from the rest, the artist must create a body of work that is unique. What is art: Art is in the mind of the viewer, just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is of no importance whether art is admired or ridiculed, only that it is remembered.

Special thanks to the Poppington Art staff, curators Nicole Hill, David Barnett and David Chang, the intern Geoff and to Damon Dash for the opportunity and honor to make it all possible.

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