RUSSELL D' ALESSIO
Paintings / Drawings
Statement / Bio / Resume
Moving Toward the Infinite
"The eye, a strange balloon, moves toward the infinite" a 19th-century lithograph by Odilon Redone was the first artwork to capture my imagination when I was a teen. To me, this print speaks volumes about art life and human potential. Its foreground anchors us at the water's edge while a large hairy eyeball floats above the horizon like a mythical balloon, carrying our hopes toward the heavens. Its frightful appearance is somehow neutralized by its lofty intent.
The best works of art come out of this push and pull swing of emotion. Love and hate, fear and desire. The tragic to the sublime are the tensions that somewhere in between we find the intrigue we call art. Art comes from somewhere outside our conscious intentions. Too much deliberation can be toxic, leaving it void of spirit and lacking emotion, I mostly begin painting from the abstract and find my way toward the figurative. The challenge is not so much where to begin, but where to finish.
I like to work on several pieces at a time leaving the studio full of canvas at various stages of development. I suppose I do not consider a painting finished until the client comes and takes it away. In the course of every day, I try and move on my own path of discovery. I try not to limit myself to one medium or genre. I do prefer my work to be spontaneous expressionist and allegorical beyond that who knows where tomorrow will lead.
If I could paint with the fire of Picasso and the soul of Chagall, I would certainly find my nirvana. For now, I am content to paint all I can with my feet on the ground and my eye fixed on the strange balloon moving toward the infinite."
One look at Russell's paintings reveals exactly who this artist is; he possesses a sense of humor, has an insightful observation of gesture and movement and a unique composition style that invites your attention into the world he creates. The work invokes the feeling of calm and relaxation away from life's everyday demands.
Attending a progressive public high school in New Jersey during the 60's his curriculum allowed him to take many art related classes. From there he studied at the Art Students League in NYC all along while studying fine art and graphic design at The Newark School of Fine Art.
Inspired by life in rural Maine he, his wife Linda and sons packed their V W bug and moved from New Jersey to the coast of Maine, Bar Harbor in 1974. In the early 80's they began their own screen print business.
Enjoying the aspects of designing clothing they began creating and marketing apparel and decorative accessories. Russell's artistic talents graced the products sold to retail outlets and mail order catalogs nationally and internationally, including Giverny Gardens, Paris, France.
Winning many awards during this period of his career he was written up in major trade magazines for his screen print and painting techniques on apparel. Excited by retail they opened their own space in 1989. This Bar Harbor gallery is now in its 30th year.
The Maine life had always been the filter through which he dreams through, as a painter, this landscape has been an incredible inspiration and root cause of his works for over 50 years. The sense of Maine magic and the experience of his travels persist in each of his works; he begins painting from the abstract and finds his way to the figurative. His signature works are paintings and drawings of women engaging in the mysteries and the unexpected joys life brings, sisters, girlfriends, the women we know and love.
Russell's art displays chromatic and thematic richness. His choice of subject has been strongly influenced by his zest for life, therefore creating color and movement. His zany sense of humor brings out the occasional whimsy and his sensitivity to the human form allows him to create beautiful flowing figures. Persistence in creativity has permitted him to develop into a sensitive and mature artist. D'Alessio's expression of universal humanistic ideals, connecting man to his physical surroundings flows easily through his works that have a timeless appeal.
My paintings are a place where adults engage in a world of childish innocents.
It’s about a perfect day, a place of eternal youth. Everything is brightly animated, emotionally charged yet peaceful; it is art to find your inner child.
Artist Russell D’Alessio
Dedham & Bar Harbor, ME
Newark School of Fine & Industrial Art – Newark, New Jersey 1968 - 1970
Arts Students League Studies under Arthur Foster - New York, New York 1969-1970
Private Studies under Grace Higgins and Carmela DeAngelis, New York, New York 1969 - 1970
Fairleigh Dickenson University - Madison, New Jersey 1970
Most Recent Exhibitions
2019 - Featured in Cultural Adventures Acadia and Downeast Maine
2019 Celebrating 30 years of showcasing works in Bar Harbor, ME
2017 Solo private invitational showing in Springfield, MO
2016 Solo Show – “In the Barn 2” showing of new works Belfast, ME
2015 Solo Show – Somewhere It’s Spring Bar Harbor
2014 Solo private invitational showing Coronado, CA
2014 Solo private invitational showing Santa Barbara, CA
2013 Solo Show Circo d’Alessio and the unveiling of The Three Rings - July
2012 Solo Show Key Bank, Portland, ME November & December
2012 Featured Artist November Portland, ME Art Walk - November
2011 Solo Show Sirens, Nymphs & Ladies Handmade Paper Gallery, Brooklin, Maine
2010 Solo Show Artlook Bar Harbor
2010 Solo invitational show Lake Wales Arts, Lake Wales, FL,
2010 Solo Show The Gardens, Key West, FL
2009 Solo private invitational showing Chicago, IL
2009 Solo show The Kiss Bosley on Brady Gallery, Milwaukee, WI
2009 Pigeon Key Nationally Juried Invitational Art Show, Marathon, FL
2009 Solo show private invitational The Gardens, Key West, FL,
2008 Solo private invitational Naples, Fl 2008 solo show Bar Harbor, Maine
2007 Solo private invitational Chicago, IL
2007 Solo show Valentine Bosley on Brady Gallery, Milwaukee,
2007 Solo show Valentine Leapin’ Liz Gallery, Covington, KY
2018 As seen in Mount Desert Islander - June
2015 As seen in Bangor Daily News and MDI Islander - August
2014 front cover Fish and Lobster by Kate Gooding
2013 As seen in Forbes “Russell D’Alessio Circus Painting Highlights Art Under
The Big Top” - August
2013 As seen in North Country July Issue
2013 As seen in MDI Islander - July
2013 front cover and inside art for 50 Ways to Cook a Beaver by Kate Gooding
2013 As seen in Bangor Daily News and MDI Islander - June
2012 As seen in Bangor Daily News – June and October
2011 As seen in Bangor Daily News - September
2011 As seen in Bar Harbor Times - August
2010 As written up on CNN Politics and United Press International
2010 As seen in Bangor Daily News
2009 Publication of coffee table book "Artlook”
2009 front cover and inside art for Simple Gourmet Lamb by Kate Gooding
2007 front cover and inside art for Wild Maine Recipes Black Fly Stew by Kate Gooding
2006 front cover Feminist Frontiers published by McGraw Hill Publisher, written by Verta Taylor
2004 As seen in Art News
2004 As seen in The Citizen, Key West
2004 As seen in Bar Harbor Times
2003 As seen in Key Wester
Professional Experience and Activities
2013 Artist Panel – Juror National Art Show, Bar Harbor, ME
2013 Artistic Director Art Walks Downtown Bar Harbor, ME
2012 Artists Panel – Juror National Art Show, Bar Harbor, ME
2010 Artistic Director and commissioned Art Designer, International One Design World Races, ME
2013 Artist Panel – Jury National Art Show, Bar Harbor, ME
2012 Artist Panel – Jury National Art Show, Bar Harbor, ME
2010 Artists Panel – Jury National Art Show, Bar Harbor, ME
1990 International Screen Print Association and Apparel Industry’s highest Award for new and
innovative design and techniques.
Senator Russell Long - private mural commission and several works purchased for collection
Stephen King commission for T-Shirt design for “Christine”
Giverny Gardens, France - commission for sunflower flora
Private Collector Bar Harbor, ME and Williamsburg, VA – private mural commission and several works purchased for collection
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Raab Philadelphia, PA and Bar Harbor, ME– private painting commission and several works purchased for collection
Mr. and Mrs. Paul LeVasseur Boxford, MA – private painting commission and multiple works purchased for collection
A complete list of patrons and collectors available upon request.