April 21st, 2021

With the change of the season, we received a fresh group of work from artist Fred Calleri. Originally from Maryland, this artist has steadily moved West; he now resides in the Santa Barbara area and works out of new, larger studio near to his home. And the magic that can come from this studio! To see these fresh pieces is to appreciate Calleri anew.

Each painting has multiple layers of scenery to draw in the viewer. Of course, the focal point of a Calleri painting is the faces: the bright eyes and wondrous grins. But the backgrounds of these paintings tell their own story. You feel as though you have been there before; perhaps the figures are even you and your loved ones. Calleri injects into his images a romantic… and mysterious quality.

It is quite often that we hear collectors exclaim, “Hey, this reminds me of Norman Rockwell!” when looking at a Fred Calleri painting. While Calleri’s subjects are reminiscent of the twentieth-century painter, Calleri takes most of his inspirations from older master painters: Vermeer, Sergent, Zorn, and Sorolla among others. The Rockwell aspect of his work comes from a general feel -– an evocation of the past through brief, joyful moments. Like photographs or posters advertising “the good ol’ times.” Calleri’s work continually captivates audiences with his quirky subjects, simple colors, and picture-perfect scenes.

The diversity in style and subject is what continually enchants the viewers of Calleri’s paintings. Although few modern-day collectors immediately gravitate towards portraits, Calleri’s character constructions focuse less on the portraiture aspect of the painting, and more on a scene. His works tell stories -– sometimes they are humorous, nostalgic, gentle, or meditative. But they all share one thing in common: they all have personality.