This is the tale of two galleries, both profiled in the New York Times’ story 36 Hours in Rome: Galleria Lorcan O’Neill (the first and second photos and experience) and Dorothy Circus Gallery (the third photo and those that follow).
I entered the Galleria Lorcan O’Neill through an incredibly unmarked courtyard. It wasn’t easy to find. From the street, I saw the lovely Roman fountain and then a small sign advertising the Gallery. The Gallery is showing British sculptor Eddie Peak’s work, which it describes rather plainly:
It opens with large spray paintings of faces rendered in vivid colours, made using the negative space left by plastic bags and scarves. Also included are highlighter-coloured paintings on steel panels.
Somehow neglected are large white prone figures of men with huge penises apparently masturbating. If you couldn’t figure that out, there is a sign in the back room that says something about the world’s greatest masturabators. A little hard to imagine one of his masculine beauties in our living room.
What I found equally hard to imagine was the gallery manager. The entire time I was in the gallery – and I was the only person there – he sat in front of a Macintosh computer ignoring me artfully. His demeanor made the art even more awful emotionally than it appeared visually – ignored and ignorable. Somehow it all made sense.
What a contrast to the Dorothy Circus Gallery, which was easy to find and immediately inviting. I had barely entered the front door when Giorgio, the musician-MBA-former financier (as I learned) and husband of the owner Alexandra, engaged me. Room by room, artist by artist, he explained their work, its significance, the social context, the price (if I asked). We exchanged cards and contacts – Andrew Jackson of the Outer Edge Studio being one of mine.
What a contrast! I actually liked some of the art in the Dorothy Circus Gallery, the work by Roa
And their new work by the Iranian artist Afarin Sajedi, who I think Becky would really like.
I’ll return to the Dorothy Circus Gallery because the art was interesting and the owner was interested. I hope the Galleria Lorcan O’Neil finds its humanity.