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© Ron Orpitelli 2020
“The opposite of war isn’t peace… it’s creation.”
Jonathan Larson

I believe creative expression records moments in a life.  Viewing something
carefully made offers the vicarious thrill of occupying the same space the creator
did while expressing feelings, thoughts and beliefs (great or small).  Art speaks
volumes about the spirit’s ability to celebrate and persevere.  Reflections of
personal joys and pains, as well as acts of reverence and irreverence radiate from
works produced in the past as well as in contemporary times.

I am drawn to art and crafts created to be a part of daily life as spiritual or totem
devices.  I have a fascination with spiritual imagery and shrines, and see them as
a powerful avenue for the expression of personal feelings running the gamut from
painful loss to absurd playfulness (to quote a dear friend: “you just might as well
laugh as cry”).  Influences on my work include religious iconography as well as
objects and patterns revered in the everyday lives and celebrations.

As of late, Haitian Vodou flags have become a particular interest of mine.  These
sequined banners produced for use in “voodoo” religious rites beginning in the
early 1900’s appeal on several levels.  I love that the banners (drapeaux) were
originally created by local artists for use within their own religious communities;
that materials used were purloined from American-owned clothing factories the
locals worked in; and that the flags included images appropriated from the
Catholic religion of the French colonial rulers thereby helping to assuage their
suspicions that the Haitians were forsaking their own spiritual beliefs for
Catholicism.  (They weren’t.)  And of course I must acknowledge my own fervent
belief that there is no problem on earth that can't be mitigated to some extent by
the judicious addition of some really great sequins.

This web site is dedicated to my studio work.  Other disciplines that I work in
include graphic design, scenic painting, theatrical crafts, murals, and faux finishes
for interior design.  Thank you for visiting!  Like life, this site will remain a work in
progress.  I hope you enjoy my gallery and will feel free to send me any
comments, reactions, or irreverent jokes you may wish to share.
Ron Orpitelli
Ron Orpitelli
San Jose, California