OCTOBER 2, 2019 – FEBRUARY 2, 2020
The Museo Italo Americano is proud to present an exhibit of painting, sketches and photography by five local artists: Sofia Carmi, Art De Fabio, Robert La Rocca, Tito Patri and Carlos Pillado.
Carlos Pillado, who is of Italian heritage on his maternal side, was born in Salto, Argentina where he lived for 18 years until he moved to Buenos Aires to comply with mandatory military service. After 14 months of service in the Air Force, he enrolled in the University of El Salvador to pursue a degree in Political Science. He graduated in 1989 and, after living in Mexico for a few years, moved to the United States, where he now resides. Carlos is a self-taught artist: he does not have a background in art and has never attended art classes. Over the last ten years he has shown his artwork in several venues throughout the Bay Area, including Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral and the Octagon House Museum in San Francisco.
Carlos calls his experience Soul Painting. While painting, Carlos experiences an intense desire to manifest himself. As a consequence, the world in which he lives takes over, becoming the minimum requirement of his existence; its only purpose and hope.
Sofia Carmi was born in Jerusalem, Israel, and immigrated to Europe and the United States with her family as young girl. Her paternal side is of Italian roots. She graduated from Ontario College of Art in Canada with a BFA and later received an MA in Psychology from New College of California in San Francisco. Sofia’s art has been profoundly influenced by her Italian Jewish heritage, as well as her experience and exposure to Italian Neo-Expressionists through her travels in Italy. She continues to experiment in abstract and expressionist styles, using oils, acrylics, watercolor, and mixed media on canvas. She currently resides in an art building in San Francisco. Sofia has exhibited extensively and is in collections in Europe, United States, Canada, and Israel.
The Mind Maps series speaks to various investigations of fantasy and mind travel. Sofia creates her art from vivid memories that interpret and investigate the outer world and diffuse it with her inner world of ideas.
Faces and Places of Umbria
Art DeFabio lives in San Francisco with his wife, Donna. They have two daughters, also living in the Bay Area. Art’s heritage is 100% Italian, with grandparents on both sides of his family having been born in the Molise region of Italy. He has been making photos in Umbria ever since his first visit there in 1996. After retiring in 2006 from his commercial insurance sales career, he became more serious about photography. Art has had photo shows at Wente Vineyards in Livermore in 2007, at the University of San Francisco in 2012, and in Todi, Italy in 2017 with local artist and art teacher, Donatella Regi Canali. Over the years, Art has traveled to many places in Italy, but he favors Umbria and has a home a few miles outside the hill town of Todi. He loves the people, the traditions, and the landscape. To him, they are irresistible.
The theme of Faces and Places of Umbria is a reflection on the emotions and soul of this beautiful region. Umbria is often referred to as the “Green Heart of Italy”. It is a region rich in agriculture and natural beauty, as well as traditions and families that span many generations.
ROBERT LA ROCCA
Beyond the Edge
Robert La Rocca was born in 1938 and was raised in the North Beach district of San Francisco. His interest in art was nurtured in his early years of studying architecture at San Francisco City College. He then transferred to U.C. Berkeley into the Department of Landscape Architecture where he graduated in 1961. He received his MA in Landscape Architecture in 1964 and returned to San Francisco, where he was employed in the office of Lawrence Halprin and Associates. Later he moved to Sasaki, Walker and Associates, and in 1974 he joined another firm called Fong, Jung and La Rocca, with offices in Newport Beach, Beverly Hills, and San Francisco. During this time Robert was appointed to the San Francisco Art Commission by then mayor Dianne Feinstein, where he served for fourteen years. In 1980, Robert joined a men’s club known as The Family and made friends with many artists who encouraged and expanded his interest in painting.
Beyond the Edge is the result of Robert’s past design experiences of fountain, plaza, and urban design: this strong geometric design is what drives his creative process. In his paintings Robert explores the space around the canvas and engages the entire wall area as part of the composition. This interface brings forth an exciting composition, which leaps beyond the picture frame.
As a California licensed professional Tito Patri has practiced landscape architecture and planning for over sixty years. In addition to garden design and environmental planning his career has included teaching and lecturing in the US and Germany as well as estate planning in Umbria, Italy. He has chaired the State Mining and Geology Board and served on design review boards for the University of California in Berkeley and Santa Cruz and currently chairs the Design Committee at the Sea Ranch. Honors and awards include those from the Ford Foundation and the Conservation Foundation. He returned recently to Greve in Chianti – where he lived almost seventy years ago – to sketch the still vital local agriculture scenes in relation, so to speak, to the ghosts of local farmers photographed there by his father in the 1950s. His latest show in 2018 was at the University of California, Berkeley, College of Environmental Design.
Tito sees his Italian sketches (Bozzetti Italiani) as more craft than art and representative of a dying skill in the fields of architecture and landscape architecture. As with the many rural and village scenes in Italy, his sketches are at once unabashedly nostalgic and informative, illustrating the visually comfortable imposition of human systems (e.g. agriculture) on the landscape.