Tag Archives: Diego Salazar Gallery

‘Sopranos’ actor curates new LIC art exhibit

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

To fans of the HBO series “The Sopranos,” he is Furio Giunta. Yet to the artistic world, Federico Castelluccio has come to be known as a prominent realist painter.

On Thursday, April 4 the art collector, connoisseur of old master Baroque paintings and Naples native presented the opening of “Diverse Visions of Reality.” Along with his own work, Castelluccio, as the curator for the exhibit, chose 10 other artists that will each display two pieces in the gallery that give a variety of subject matter, styles and sizes.

Included in the group are Nelson Shanks, Humberto Aquino, Christopher Pugliese, Steven Assael, Mario Robinson, David Brega, Scott Nickerson, Patricia Watwood, Katie O’Hagan and Will Wilson.

In his paintings Castelluccio largely focuses on the figure, in addition to still life and landscape, always dealing with life directly.

“As a realist painter I strive to paint my subject as I see it – pure, without embellishments,” said Castelluccio. “My ultimate goal is to achieve an honest interpretation of the natural and beautiful things that surround and inspire me.”

The exhibit will run in conjunction with the Diego Salazar Gallery’s one-year anniversary through May 4. The galley is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.




Landscapes of industrial life in Long Island City

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

painting 1

Looking out every window in her life, Diane Sipprelle finds life, beauty and inspiration.

Born in Knoxville, Tennesse, the young southern artist made her way to the big apple in the early 1980s to chase her dreams of being an artist. After a few years of traveling, Sipprelle made her way into Long Island City where she was able to move into a “large, airy” apartment.

Once her surroundings blocked her views of the world around her, she moved looking for a larger space and views to Dobbs Ferry where she now overlooks the Hudson River.

“It’s important for me to have something I find interesting to paint from these windows. “ she said. “It’s like living in the painting.”

Working a day job, she finds it easier to be able to paint from her windows before and after work. During her time in Long Island City, her inspirations would come from the industrial landscape that surrounded her every day.

“I had such wonderful views of the 7 train which ran within a couple of arms lengths from my windows.” she said. “It was hilariously noisy but this was a perfect painting situation for me.”

Beginning her process of bringing the painting to life, she would take photos of the scenes that caught her eye, trace it onto a canvas, lay in the outlines and then color in like a coloring book.

“I particulary like oil paintings because you can change your mind, add and subtract layers as you feel more acquainted with your home view,” she said.

One of the works that can describe her best views from her Long Island City apartment is called “LIC Train Workers” and can now be found at the Diego Salazar Gallery. This oil painting, created straight out of her pajamas, details the hard work of train workers under a nice blue sky surrounded by the industrial city.

“It’s a reflection of me and me is a reflection of where I live, being a domestic person I was painting my life,” she said.

She recalls a specific mentor in her life in the early 1960s, who had a studio right off her kitchen. While the mentor would be cooking dinner for the present dinner party, she would also go about checking her painting in the studio.

“My first memories are of art and I always felt most in my element when I was with artists,” she said.

Among her inspirations are women who were considered to be eccentric and kept true to themselves in life and in their art works. Some of her influences include, Emily Carr, Alice Neel, Georgia O’Keef, Marjorie Portnow and many more.

“I’m a slow thinker and I mull things over and like to push things too far and then I can reconsider and rub that off and repaint. Push and pull.”



Honoring Latin American artists in LIC

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


One of Long Island City’s newest art spaces, the Diego Salazar Gallery, is honoring local Latin American artists in its second exhibit, Vision & Emotion: Latin American Art Salon.

Gallery owner Diego Salazar, who is from Colombia, is showcasing both emerging and established artists from New York City.

To emphasize the ethnic background of the artists, Salazar chose to open the month-long show on September 20 to tie it into National Hispanic Heritage month, which runs from September 15 to October 15.

Among Salazar’s many favorites, he cited Colombian sculptor Adolfo Caldas.“The composition of color in his sculptures is really gorgeous,” he said.

Other artists in the exhibit include German Baron, Orestes Gonzalez, Rafael O. Gonzalez, Christian Brandner, Shaun El C. Leonardo, Ragner Lagerblad, Sandra Llano-Mejia, Oscar Maxera, Luis Monje, Dulcy Molina, Pietrapiana, Jorge Posada and Carlos Yanguas.

In addition to having a shared heritage, about half the artists in the exhibit work in Long Island City.

A few of those artists rent space in the same building that houses the Diego Salazar Gallery.

After selling antique frames for 47 years, Salazar decided to open the 44th Avenue gallery this May. He moved the frame business to another building he owns, and put the gallery in its place.

Its opening exhibit was comprised of 30 artists who rent studios in Salazar’s gallery.
The Latin American show features 14 artists who live throughout the city, but hail from countries such as Colombia, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil and the Dominican Republic.

Along with the gallery’s owner and the artists, the show’s curator also comes from Latin America.

The Colombian Edelmira Ruiz has spent the last 30 years working as an art dealer, and also owned a gallery for a few years in the 1980s.

Though she hasn’t curated a show in about a decade, it isn’t the first one that she’s done.

“I chose the quality of the pieces, not of the artist,” said Ruiz, explaining how she went about putting together the exhibit.

“I was amazed by the art techniques,” she continued.

Ruiz, who lives in Woodside, said that she hopes the show brings more exposure to the artists and helps the local art scene evolve at a faster pace.