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    Art We Love & Why: Living Legends

    Paul Resika
    June 25, 2022

    In Japan, the artists featured here would be formally recognized as “Living Treasures.” Each of them has had a long and celebrated career spanning generations. And each of them continues to make work, not to burnish their reputations but because it is the essence of who they are–endlessly creative and continually exploring. They are role models for artists of all ages.

    Sal del Deo, Self Portrait in Civil War Hat, 1972, oil on canvas, 18 x 26, courtesy of Ken Fulk

    Sal Del Deo Provincetown Painting

    I first met Sal in his garden on a summer afternoon in 2016. His wife Josephine was in the hospital after suffering a stroke. He recounted his visit to see her earlier that day. He had taken with him a rare ripe fig from their tree and even in her frail state, unable to verbally communicate, she reached for the fruit instantly understanding its preciousness.

    Later that fall, a few months after Josephine passed away, I visited Sal in his studio. He recounted his arrival in Provincetown, his proposal to her under the Monument, their six-month honeymoon in Italy, and the life they built together in their adopted and beloved town. Over their decades together they raised a family, helped save the “back shore” (now the Province Lands), started a restaurant with their pal Ciro and eventually another bearing Sal’s name, both of which continue to this day.

    Now at age 93, Sal walks down the hill from the house he built to the studio he created each morning to paint. This unwavering drive to create, and Sal’s steadfast commitment to this town, his family, and to his art, is an inspiration to me. I purchased this 1972 self-portrait last year from a show of his work at the Mary Heaton Vorse House. In it, Sal is wearing an old Union Civil War hat he kept in the studio with a banner of red, white, and blue unfurled behind him. It hangs in our library where it is a tribute and daily reminder of this incredible man—an utterly American spirit who marches to his own drum, and a shining example of the improbable essence of this town.

    -Ken Fulk


    Paul Resika, Long Violet Provincetown, 1991, oil on canvas, 18” x 42″(image courtesy Berta Walker Gallery)

    Paul Resika Provincetown

    Paul Resika is an enduring prodigy. Having studied with Sol Wilson at the age of 12 and become Hans Hoffman’s prize student while still in his teens, Resika’s illustrious career has endured for seven decades and counting. Legendary for his color sense, Resika would say that his work is primarily about form rather than subject. Perhaps that’s the genius of this piece. He’s not trying to make a picture of the harbor, he’s using subtle shifts in color and fluid brushwork to create a work of art. That I enjoy it as a gorgeous landscape is just icing on the cake.

    -George Rogers


    John Waters, No Vacation, 2007, 8 c-prints,image: 18 1/4 x 13 3/4 inches

    John Waters No Vacation Provincetown

    An empty gaping hole in the sky where the sun should be…

    Bullet holes ripping through the idyllic village scene…

    A scary, impossible to maneuver breakwater…

    A funhouse version of the Coast Guard Station and lighthouse…

    A waterfront building on fire (coincidentally where our very first apartment in Provincetown was located)…

    The picturesque little cottages…all missing except for one…

    Sand dunes swallowing the town, making it impassable…

    Scratched out directing credits for one of the most notorious films ever made in Provincetown, leaving only the “O”: Tough Guys Don’t Dance, Directed by Norman Mailer…

    All of this truly adds up to “No Vacation” in Provincetown.

    -James Balla, Albert Merola Gallery

    John Waters exhibition, “PROBE” will run from May 27 – June 22, 2022 at Albert Merola Gallery


    Brenda Horowitz, North Truro Pond II, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 22 × 27″(image courtesy Berta Walker Gallery)

    Brenda Horowitz Provincetown

    One look at Brenda Horowitz’s lush, color-saturated paintings and it’s no surprise to learn that she studied with Hans Hoffman. Like Hoffman, she is a colorist of the first rate, and, like so many artists, she was drawn to the Cape by its magical light. But unlike most, she makes the familiar uniquely and brilliantly her own with masterful compositions and a potent palate. Proving that age is just a number, the 90-year-old Horowitz continues to imbue her art with an emotional intensity and freshness that are both gorgeous and timeless.

    -George Rogers

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