‘Ball Players’ is a solo exhibition of new drawings by Chris Durante of Redding, Connecticut, on display at The Gallery at Still River Editions in Danbury, Connecticut from March 11 through May 31. Durante uses ink and collage elements to express his nearly life-long interest in baseball, in particular the characters that inhabit its “cathedrals,” the ball parks. The comic book-influenced, stylized figures convey the attitude and soul of players past and present, real and imaginary. An artist’s reception for ‘Ball Players’ will be held at the gallery on Saturday, April 6 from 4-6pm.
“I love the game of baseball, its lore, history, and aesthetic,” says Durante, who owns Chris Durante Framing, also in Danbury. “Statistics and teams, while interesting, are secondary considerations. I am equally at home in a sold out cathedral of baseball or watching a group of kids hash it out in an abandoned lot. It seems that our lives are spent trying to regain the innocence of that first experience when everything was new, mythic and unsullied by quotidian demands. These drawings are my attempt to get back to that place.”
Durante’s love for baseball harkens back to his youth, when his father took him to his first gave at Yankee Stadium:
“I think my first out-of-body experience occurred when I was eight years old. My dad took me to Yankee Stadium for the first time to see the Yankees play the Senators. Nothing prepared me for that first walk through the tunnel. Every light was on, illuminating the field, mocking the efficiency of the sun on that cloudless, clear day. I didn’t know anything could be that big or green. I mean GREEN. I was both above it and in it. Time slowed. My sense of sound was heightened, turning into frequencies that were new, yet familiar; everything was amped. The sensation halted only by my dad asking me what I wanted on my dog.
I had never imagined anything so perfect.”
Much of Durante’s work shown in recent years has been abstract. In 2012, his work was shown at Silvermine Guild in New Canaan and the Haviland Street Gallery in South Norwalk. ‘Ball Players’ demonstrates a turn toward the figurative in his craft.
Durante teaches drawing as an adjunct professor of studio art at Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, Connecticut. In his framing work, he works contnuously with the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, the State of Connecticut Prison Arts Program, and many local and international artists. Durante is also a member of the Silvermine Guild of Artists.
The Gallery at Still River Editions is located at 128 East Liberty St., Danbury, CT. The gallery is free and open 8:30am to 5pm Monday through Friday. For more information, call (203)791-1474 or visit stillrivereditions.com/gallery.html.