Hampden Gallery Exhibits Works by 3 Curcios

Exhibits by Sally, Holly and Mary Curcio are on view through April 27 at the Hampden Gallery in Southwest.

“Recognition” by Sally Curcio examines the universal need for recognition, and both the reverence and absurdity that need inspires. Through paintings of United Nations military ribbons, YouTube videos of reality TV talent shows, and mirror sculptures that blur the subject and the object recognized, Curcio explores the human need for recognition, and the paradoxical and hopeful trend toward democratizing that recognition.

Curcio created an eight-foot painting of the ribbon UNIKOM – United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission. The United Nations ribbon appears as an abstract color field painting. Curcio was interested to learn that the composition of the ribbon is meant to show that the broad buff-colored bands represent the wide expanse of desert in Iraq and Kuwait, and the light blue center signifies the thin blue United Nations line in the sand to establish and protect sovereignty.

A second piece is a sculpture titled “Ubuntu - Self Portrait.” It is an interactive piece where one person stands on one side of a mirror with clear horizontal stripes and matches their mirror image of their face with the clear stripes of someone else looking at them from the other side. Both people see a portrait consisting of their faces merged into one. The piece was inspired by President Barack Obama’s eulogy to Nelson Mandela: “There is a word in South Africa — Ubuntu, a word that captures Mandela’s greatest gift: His recognition that we are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us. ... He not only embodied Ubuntu, he taught millions to find that truth within themselves.”

In a third piece, video clips from the television show “America’s Got Talent” and its international counterparts continue to reveal the universal need for recognition, and the drama and emotion of bringing someone to a moment of recognition for their talents. On this platform, contenders attempt to touch the lives of others, and gain their recognition, through the beauty and originality of their performance. Viewing the diversity, yet overwhelming similarity, for this show among sundry countries reveals the need for recognition as deep and universal. Curcio is suggesting there is common longing of humanity to be recognized and to connect with others, and there are many strategies to gather this recognition.

She is currently represented by Fresh Paint Art Advisors in Culver City, Calif. Curcio maintains her studio in Northampton.

Also on display are “Water, Land And Air,” Mary Curcio’s paintings exploring the mysteries and wonders of watercolor, and “From Inside The Birdhouse,” ceramic sculptural work by Holly Curcio.