What ever happened to childhood? Not only did my own slip away, so many eons ago, but even my children’s childhoods are long gone. Note to self: Find that photo I took of Justin chasing Everett through our yard with a baseball bat, both of them giggling hysterically.
Well, I can’t bring those days back, but viewing the magnificent paintings of Daniel Finaldi is almost as good. Mr. Finaldi seems to live in a world that time forgot, where family members could laze about on the wicker chairs of the porch or the lawn in front of the house. Children read in bed, surrounded by their brothers and sisters, illuminated by a holy glow. Is life really like that in Highland Park, where he lives?
“There is a glow and essence and a soulfulness that exists within each person,” he writes in his artist statement. “It is truly ineffable to me and it is an increasing source of creative inspiration.”
There is a young boy dreaming up at the sky, another young boy seated along a river while his younger brother plays in the background, or, one of my favorites, a woman on a summer night, reading under the golden glow on the porch. Her feet are up (the shoes are on another table), she is engrossed in her book, and in the distance we can see others on a neighboring porch, also reading. What we would all give for a moment of peace like this.
There is something Hopper-esque about the people on the adjacent porch, and the sense of time and the glow is reminiscent of painter Mel Leipzig who, not uncoincidentally, is a good friend of Mr. Finaldi.
Another painting shows this woman inside her house on a summer night, being viewed from outside the back door. Mr. Leipzig painted his late wife in much the same way.
Mr. Finaldi’s exhibit, People and Places, is on view at Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters Gallery in New Brunswick (732-524-6957) through Oct. 6, but I hope we get to see more of his work in the area soon. He’s also been exhibited recently at the D&R Greenway Gallery and in the Ellarslie Open.