Work in Progress

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© Ron Orpitelli 20
“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
Ron Orpitelli
San Jose, California