A special three-week exhibit by artist Marc Castelli will show at the MassoniArt Cross Street Gallery from May 27 through June 12 and run throughout Memorial Day weekend.
The Working Portraits/watermen.1, is collection of intimate portraits of Chesapeake waterman Castelli has known personally and followed for 2o years as they plied their trade on Eastern Shore rivers and the Bay.
A marked departure from the main body of Castelli’s work, the portraits go far beyond the iconic idea of independent fishermen toiling the Chesapeake Bay. Instead, they capture the essence of the individual as if you were next to him on the salt sprayed deadrise heading for the morning’s oyster bed. Each face is engraved by the fierce livelihood of harvesting Maryland’s greatest resources. Each expression is a signature of the individual person Castelli studied, respected, and befriended.
“Painting such personal images of them is unnerving. In some instances, the focus is solely on the face with the weathered lines of their lives streaming from the eyes. Some call those lines ‘crow’s feet’ I liken them to a map of every creek, river, gut, thurfer, cove, and bay these men have worked as they harvest crabs, fish, eels, oysters and turtles,” Castelli says.
A reception will be held on June 3, 5-7 pm, Chestertown First Friday and Marc Castelli will give an Artist Talk Saturday, June 4, 12 noon.
The Spy met Castelli at MassioniArt Cross Street Gallery to talk to him about the how the series of portraits came about and what they mean to him.
This video is approximately minutes in length. For more information about MassoniArt may be found here.