Gallery Show featuring Sculpture and Paintings by David Caricato
Opening Reception March 18, 5-8 pm
Show runs through April 11. Regular store hours are 10 am-6 pm daily.
Article and photographs by Juanita Canzoneri
David Caricato has been making art for over 40 of his nearly 70 years. Most of that time he worked with sculptural forms in wood and other natural materials. His early work uses long gourds as a base for the pieces he calls “Earth Dancers” which include design elements from southwest First Nations tribes. He began incorporating raven masks worked in the northwest First Nations style as a humorous juxtaposition of ideas.
The raven masks, as well as other mask styles, have by now found their way into many other sculptures that don’t incorporate the “Earth Dancer” shapes.
With the most recent change in the economy he diversified to making small figural paintings in acrylics. He can sell the paintings at a lower price point since they come together quicker than his larger sculptures do. But ever the dyed-in-the-wool wood worker he hand-carves many of the frames for his paintings.
For his paintings he works with a limited number of models, over several years. Pointing to one painting he told me, “I’ve worked with her over 3 boyfriends and breakups. I think the guy she’s with now will be a keeper.” The pieces that come from these modelling sessions are collaborative. He might have an idea for where he wants to start, or the model may want to try something. The sessions are photographed and then both he and the model look at the photos and make changes.
With his paintings, which are typically no more than 6”-8” tall, his studio is the kitchen island or in his living room. He had a studio in an outbuilding on his property that’s more conducive to his sculptural work, with a tool bench and dust catchment system he works year round. Pulling out a piece he’s working on he explained some of the woods he worked with created dust that was quite dangerous to inhale.
David’s goal with his art is to push buttons and find where the boundaries are. He is making the type of art that he wants and is a self-diagnosed wood hoarder. His figural art deals with the human form, including many nudes. Getting the musculature correct is highly important to him, even with his smallest canvases. This gives his paintings and sculptures a realistic quality. But the humor in his art lends a charm and warmth to that realism. And there are times when David expresses his political views in a very tongue-in-cheek way with his work.
David is a Pueblo native with two undergraduate degrees, one in Graphic Design and one in Industrial Arts/Woodworking. He has been showing galleries throughout the Southwest, Washington state, Florida, and New York. He recently had a one-man show of the same name at the Sangre de Christo Art Center and has received numerous awards, including Best in Show and First Place in Sculpture at the Colorado State Fair Art Show.