Carla Massoni Gallery
Artists Exhibitions Information Corporate

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Marc Castelli | The Water Margin
May 16 – June 21, 2008
Opening Reception: Friday, May 16 / 6-8 pm
Open House - Saturday, May 17 10-5, Artist Talk – Saturday, May 17 / 12 noon


Marc Castelli’s latest one-man exhibition marks his 15th Anniversary with the Carla Massoni Gallery. Over 45 new watercolor paintings, featuring some his finest work to date, is featured in – The Water Margin.

Known throughout the world for his ability to capture life on the water, Castelli’s work is instantly recognizable whether painting the sleek racing vessels of the America’s Cup, conveying the home grown excitement of the historic log canoe regattas, or his depiction of the day to day experiences of the watermen of the Chesapeake. Never one for the sidelines, Castelli’s hands-on-knowledge of his subjects enables him to create paintings impossible for others to replicate.

His paintings of the Chesapeake Bay log canoes express the quiet grace and majesty of these historic vessels and the raucous action of the races. He has crewed on log canoes for nearly two decades and his work celebrates the rich tradition of these sailing vessels of the Chesapeake. But it is in his depiction of the workboats and the watermen that his mastery of subject and medium are most evident.

He is a member of the Maryland Watermen’s Association and the relationships he has formed over the years find expression in his figurative work which carefully integrate artistic concerns (color, shape, texture, light and composition) with subject matter – the watermen, their tools, their boats, the nature of their work, and the character of these men as they move through the days, seasons and decades of their lives.

Castelli’s mastery of watercolor and the depth of knowledge of this region have garnered acclaim from sources far and wide. He was chosen, as the featured artist for 2007, by the National Maritime Center (NAUTICUS), headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia. Museums and private collectors were generous in lending works for the twelve-month exhibition in the Forecastle Gallery. Additionally, his work was featured with other noted watercolor artists at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News, Virginia in their highly regarded exhibit, Recent American Watercolors, presented in conjunction with the American Watercolor Masters exhibition.

A favorite with the U. S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program, Castelli’s watercolors have been loaned to numerous embassies throughout the world and are currently on exhibit in Lesotho. His work is also featured at the Modern Marine Masters annual exhibition at the Mystic Seaport Museum Gallery. And for years, he has enjoyed representation by noted maritime art historian, J. Russell Jinishian, at his eponymous gallery in Connecticut. Three new books based on the history of the Chesapeake are slated for release this year and will feature Castelli’s pen and ink drawings and watercolor illustrations. He recently completed a very special commission of forty pen and ink drawings for a limited edition of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness due for release in June.

Castelli chose the title for his anniversary show – The Water Margin – based on a series of Chinese folk tales. It reflects his observations about people who make their living from the margin where water meets the shore – and the fine line it represents. The following quote by Malcolm C. Salaman, one of England's most esteemed scholars of etching and engraving, provided a compass for Castelli in guiding this, his latest journey.

The sea marks a man as nothing else does, and despite weaknesses and faults, he will combine a childlike simplicity with a stolid bravery, which may rise at times to epic heights without seeming to him to be anything out of the ordinary.

The sea has clearly left its mark on Castelli.

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