Work in Progress

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© Ron Orpitelli 2018
“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
San Jose, California