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January 6th, 2005

Art View: Marco Art

by Joan Baum

Lower East Side Artist, Marco, and Fondrisi Gallery Bring Color to Southampton

The lime-green and white Fondrisi banner is clearly the most understated part of Southampton’s newest gallery, a multi-room expanse that reflects John Fondrisi’s sense that the town could use “a little color, pop, rock and roll, sex.” The opening exhibition featured work of Victoria Fuller (The Art of a Playboy Playmate) and paintings by Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones.

A graduate of EHHS and a professional animator, who started out in theatre and also studied sculpture and architecture, not to mention piano and art therapy, Fondrisi mounted an “exhilarating” exhibit-the art of Marco-with fame you don’t need a last name. Deliriously playful, joyous, witty, wondrously bold, cartoon designs for the hip and savvy and for children as well (though not always!), Marco’s paintings show why he was appointed Official Artist for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team. His Mediterranean Medley, done for the games, invokes a world of happy, cuckoo, black-outline, free-form psychedelic Alien Baby figures cavorting in harmony under a smiling sun. The Fondrisi exhibit also testified to Marco’s various achievements. Swatch Watch’s most successful designer, a cover artist for The New York Times Sunday Magazine, a featured illustrator for Express jeans, a celebrity portrait painter, a UNICEF product designer (toys, games, puzzles) and creator of a Big Apple seal, Marco’s work for charity, alone, speaks volumes about his generosity as well as talent.

For sure World Peas on Earth-picture it, you’ll want the t-shirt-will dazzle, though maybe the kids won’t get Pussy Whipped or the import of alien babies gaily bouncing by a soup bowl in Wired Mushrooms. But for sure, Marco originals such as Mr. Stereotype and his signature street sign graphics-Trucks to Manhattan Bridge and Ollie on Route 25, among others on display here-spoke to everyone. Fondrisi recommends a night drive-by when Marco’s ingenious mixed media signs fully reveal their clever construction.

Joan Baum

Joan Baum is Art Critic and Editor for The Independent chain in Eastern Long Island

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

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