Marc Civitarese; A Place Where He Stands

West Branch Gallery
May 28, 2015 5:06PM

Art is a mystery. Making art, for someone who is not an artist, is even more mysterious. Like magic, a piece of art is on the wall, on your table, in your backyard or on your computer screen. You endeavor to really see the art, to surrender to its mystery, to allow the work to carry you away. At least, that is what an accomplished, passionate artist can do for you. A work of art will carry you to another time and place for as long as it is yours to behold.

Marc Civitarese’s paintings have this quality. They are dreams of another time, a slower pace, a world where man and nature were one. There are no battles, no friction, no walls. These paintings invite stillness. Gaze at his painting, Now and Forever, or Place Where I Stand,and you will travel down that inlet, now, and forever, at peace. It is surely a place where you can stand.

Marc has been an artist for a long time. He always drew as a child. In his twenties, he studied at the Massachusetts College of Art, and School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. He has been painting ever since.

Influenced by the Hudson River painters, like Cole, Duran, Heade and Church, Marc’s greatest inspiration is man’s relationship to man. “I’ve been fortunate to have traveled abroad and seen wonderful places,” Marc said. “But to have lived in the 19th century, discovering the land for the first time, unscathed by man, would have been amazing – for me, a perfect time in history.”

The portrait painter, Chuck Close said, “Inspiration is for amateurs. Artists just show up.” Marc absolutely agrees. Starting with a Venetian red underpainting, it takes Marc anywhere from 8 to12 weeks to make a painting. He doesn’t use photographs but paints from memory. “I started out painting the figure which morphed into bodyscapes which then became landscapes. An introspective exploration,” Marc said.

Caravaggio is his favorite painter. “His use of light and dark blows me away! I would love to do a residency program in Italy,” Marc said. Another painter that influenced Marc is Rothko, and you can see that similar dreamy blend of color. Domingo Barreres, Marc’s mentor in art school, was also a major influence.

Marc Civitarese has been represented by West Branch for many years. He is also in a number of corporate collections, including The Bellagio in Las Vegas. Since 1992, Marc has had solo exhibits at galleries in Boston, Provincetown, Atlanta and Minneapolis, as well as in a number of group shows.

Despite his many years of painting and showing, Marc’s biggest challenge is, as he says, “to keep on believing in one’s self. Rejection is a part of the business and one has to develop a strong sense of self.”

For Marc Civitarese, each of his paintings is a memory, a reflection of his observations in nature. “I start with an initial vision, but what usually happens during the process of creating a piece, is the painting takes over the direction it wants to go in. I let it lead.”

Marc Civitarese’s paintings, though based in the landscape tradition, are cerebral and visceral explorations of the relationship of man and nature. They depart from a pure realist depiction of the world and move towards a more expressive sensibility. By abstracting the elements of realism–shape, form and light–his work becomes an introspective exploration of his feelings and thoughts of man, nature and spirituality.

Civitarese holds an MFA from Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Since 1993, he has exhibited in solo, two-person, three-person and group exhibitions in New England, New York, Georgia, Florida and the Midwest. The Copley Society of Boston twice awarded him the Juror’s Choice in Painting, as well as the Pearl Art and Craft Award in 1999. His work is in the collection of The Bellagio in Las Vegas, Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Fidelity Investments, Corporacion Geo in Mexico City and in private collections in the United States and abroad. Marc lives and works in Western Massachusetts.

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West Branch Gallery