• Provoking Hidden Intentions with Rocco Alberico – James Cavello

    Date posted: June 19, 2006 Author: jolanta

    Provoking Hidden Intentions with Rocco Alberico

    James Cavello

     
     
     
    Rocco Alberico, 25 Miles as the Crow Flies, (image inside 3D viewer), Mixed media with 3D viewer, 22"x5"x7".
    Rocco Alberico, 25 Miles as the Crow Flies, (image inside 3D viewer), Mixed media with 3D viewer, 22″x5″x7″.
     
     
    The first time I viewed Rocco Alberico’s sculptures
    was at the Broadway Gallery – I was intrigued by the multi-layered commentaries
    within his creative and thought provoking work. As I studied the well-crafted
    architectural constructions and the interior dioramas I was fascinated with the
    complexity of meaning and learned that Rocco is inspired by many experiences
    such as his childhood in Long Island, life in Manhattan, in addition to
    religion, cults, voodoo, beliefs and even road trips around the U.S. and
    Europe.

     

    The
    architectural structures house a miniature two-dimensional or three-dimensional
    scene that can be viewed through an open door or window, revealing clandestine
    rituals or nature’s enigmas or possibly a symbolic message to be interpreted by
    the viewer. In addition to the scenes visible from the front or side of the
    sculpture, each work has a viewfinder attached, which is sometimes camouflaged
    on the outside of the structure. Looking through the 3D viewer pieces together
    another aspect of the meaning or implication implied by the artist. The 3D
    viewer for me was a throwback to childhood, when I owned a View Master with
    color discs, before we had a color television. As a young boy, it was a
    mystical experience to see a panorama in front of you that was so realistic,
    yet untouchable. In Rocco’s work, the 3D viewer exposes unreal dimensions, such
    as the 3D image in 25 Miles as the Crow Flies
    style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:Verdana’>, of a 1950’s gas stove with an old
    coffee pot floating above an open flame, which only makes the one ponder the
    viewer’s relationship to the entire piece. I found myself elated when I was
    able to piece together the elements of structure, diorama and 3D viewer into
    what I determined to be its underlying meaning.

     

    In the
    sculpture Aliam Excute Quercum World Headquarters
    style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:Verdana’> is a 27-inch tall gray building
    with a sloping roof and a revolving globe positioned on top of the building. In
    his description of the work, Rocco states, “This is the world headquarters of
    the A.E.Q., a secretive organization whose true purpose remains unclear.
    Members are sworn to secrecy and membership is by ‘invitation only’. It has
    branches in over 30 countries with the largest concentration of members in the
    United States and Finland.” The outside of the A.E.Q. building appears strange
    and sinister, completely covered with small wire spikes. A sliding metal door
    with teeth reveals a rock wall providing no entrance. Through a window at the
    top of the building one can see a room covered in the same small metal spikes,
    a miniature table with a bull’s eye target on the top, three small chairs and a
    bomb suspended above the table. The 3D viewfinder image shows a hooded figure
    carrying a shovel and bearing a symbolic triangle in a circle on the back of
    its jacket. Very mysterious circumstances surround this work, such as are the
    subjects of movies, novels, the National Enquirer and Ripley’s Believe it or
    Not. However, Rocco provides us with many clues to decipher the implication
    presented within the work. Similar to the premise in the recent novel “The Da
    Vinci Code” by Dan Brown, symbolism, secret sects, religion, knowledge,
    relationships and art are presented to provide the viewer with a look into a
    private world.

     

    Once I
    experienced Rocco’s work and met this extraordinary artist, so soft-spoken and
    articulate, I also wanted to show his work in my gallery. The exhibition
    consisted of 10 sculptures and the response was tremendous. I should have
    videotaped the reaction of wonder and the commentary from viewers – each work
    brought out discussions and caused people who did not know each other to
    discuss their interpretations.

     

    The same
    thing happened in Berlin with the German audience while the exhibition was at
    the Berliner Kunst Project, although the Germans focused much more on the
    literal meaning of each work, especially those that contained any religious or
    social overtones. Rocco was deeply affected by his recent trip to Germany and
    Austria, which has provoked new work to be completed. For more information,
    please visit http://www.roccoalberico.com/.

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