TRANQUILITY BY KYLE PALIOTTO
By Bonnie Gangelhoff
Danny Heller has always been interested in suburban imagery—older cars, commercial buildings, and homes that evoke a timeless quality. So it comes as no surprise that after graduating from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2004, he began seeing the San Fernando Valley, where he grew up, with a fresh eye. In his first show at Terrence Rogers Fine Art this summer, Heller’s paintings depicted the mid-century homes of his youth in “the Valley”—residences with a design popularized by developer Joseph Eichler from 1950 to 1974.
HIGH NOON GRAZE BY KYLE PALIOTTO
The emerging young artist paints the structures as they exist today, with features such as beamed ceilings, courtyards, atriums, and wide expanses of glass. Considered adventurous at the time, the homes captured the aspirations of Californians to live in new ways. The creations also helped define modern architecture. “What drew me to them was their design,” Heller says. “At the time, it was revolutionary to do this on a massive scale.”
In the post-war housing boom, a lot of developers were putting up tract homes, but Eichler wanted to bring good design to the masses. “He wanted to bring the outside inside and the inside outside,” Heller explains.
Rather than faithfully portraying the total house, the artist leads the viewer on a path to the front door or the triangles of a carport. His works hint at the complexity of the designs as well as offer a visual slice of Southern California life.
These days Heller is also imagining his next series, which involves stepping inside the retro residences to portray their interiors. His paintings are on view October 17-November 30 in the annual Realism Invitational at Klaudia Marr Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. He is represented by Terrence Rogers Fine Art, Santa Monica, CA.
RELIEF BY KYLE PALIOTTO
Landscape painter Kyle Paliotto lives in the small northern Idaho town of Hayden. He moved there three years ago from San Diego, CA, and hasn’t looked back. For some artists, Southern California can be a stimulating environment, but for Paliotto, the remote reaches of Idaho are where he feels most at home.
In San Diego, he recalls, he was chalking up some 40,000 miles a year on his truck driving to his various painting jobs—that’s house-painting jobs. Paliotto didn’t have enough time for his fine art career, nor was he making enough money from it. “It was just tough to make a living there,” he says. “I was making a living as a house painter, and I had to decide if I wanted to paint other people’s walls white for the rest of my life or make a life as an artist.”
EICHLER HOUSE WITH RED DOOR BY DANNY HELLER
His new home in Idaho suits him just fine—he is working as an artist full time and financially things have turned around since his days in the Golden State. Gone are the days spent driving thousands of miles to job sites. Now he walks to his studio. And nature—the inspiration for his paintings—is a few steps from his front door. “I love it up here. I like the solitude and peacefulness,” Paliotto says. “And someday I even want to have a ranch with cows.” In the meantime he has found a community of artists nearby and the calm life he was seeking. In 2007 he was juried into the Oil Painters of America show held at Whistle Pik Galleries in Fredericksburg, TX. He is a regular participant in the annual C.M. Russell Art Auction in Great Falls, ID. Paliotto’s work is on view in the Western Regional Oil Painters of America show at Devin Galleries in Coeur d’Alene, ID, through October 11 and in a group show in December at The Art Spirit Gallery of Fine Art, also in Coeur d’Alene. He also is represented by Rebecca V Gallery, Tacoma, WA, and M Gallery of Fine Art, Sarasota, FL.
Featured in October 2008