Still Life Cubic, 1981 – 90 X 60 CM
Still Life Cubic is a mixed media still life of great texture and depth. The work was created at 2964 Dorman Avenue in Broomall, Pennsylvania, the childhood family home of Chris Voci.
My parents were seated with my Great Uncle drinking coffee and Diego said to my Father: You know, there is no food for us here, not even a bowl of fruit. So, I will make you a picture.
With that declarative statement, Diego asked to be taken to an art store to get supplies. He obtained some thick artist paper and a few paints at a local hobby shop and commandeered the dining room table as his makeshift studio. As children, the Dining Room was essentially off limits. It was a place for adults and in the many wonderful family dinners and parties that my parents continually hosted, the children were generally relegated to the kids table not the river barge-sized gleaming slab of mahogany that was now transformed into the Diego workbench.
He worked quickly that day. Diego had pastels and crayons, my crayons, and water colors. It was hard to believe that this great Master was equally inclined to work with my crayons as he was to pull an expensive European pastel from a dove-tailed wooden box. And so he worked. He did not mind me watching at all. He talked a little as he drew the lines in crayon and washed in the spaces with his pastels held flat. He asked if I liked grapes and he painted grapes. Then he painted quietly. He also filled in some of the fruits with watercolours. The whole piece was done in a little over an hour.
The finished product was amazing. The blues and yellow dominate this colourful and bright piece. Diego gets great light on his bowl of fruit. The darkest part of the work is in the center with a progressively brightening halo expanding to the left side of the frame. His lines are soft but delineate the foreground subject from the cubist space from which it protrudes. It is kind of a reverse Vermeer effect.
My favourite part of this one is the referential fruit in the lower right. A pear a banana, maybe. Diego knew what our home needed that day. This bowl of fruit never stops feeding us.