Bob Gherardi paints from the heart – abandoned houses and places of yesteryear and even landscapes that he once knew or that evoke emotion and memories. Every painting has a story. It reminds him of something—an emotion or place he has been in his own heart that he identifies with.
Such is Pizza and Pinball, a painting of a place his father took him as a boy. He came across the abandoned building and rubbed the window to look inside but all he saw was debris and 2x4s in the corner and the memories that were there. Abandoned houses have unanswered questions that draw him in—a sadness but also beauty, fragile and vulnerable.
Like any artist laying their work and themselves on the line, Gherardi often wonders if his art speaks to anybody else. “When people see my art, they wind up telling me what it touches in their own heart. It’s people making a connection with my art and their heart. If a viewer leaves my painting feeling empty, I didn’t do my job,” he says.
Gherardi spends lots of time promoting his art. He writes a monthly newsletter, posts on social media to bring people to his website, seeks gallery shows and juried exhibitions to build up his resume and hoping his work will catch somebody’s eye. Curators from the MET, Guggenheim, Whitney and MOMA have juried his work, allowing him into special shows.
How much time does he spend painting and promoting? “Every waking moment. It borders on obsession. As much as it’s my passion, I don’t want it to turn into an idol. Every painting is almost like a living thing. It takes me to places I don’t expect to go. It’s easy to get so wrapped up I can’t see anything else.”
Gheradi has painted 500-600 acrylic on board paintings and has sold almost all of them, though he has held on to a few. “I’m perfectly ok with spending the rest of my life with these paintings. A painting won’t go up on any wall unless I would put it on my own.”
He was recently recognized in American Art Collector Magazine. His upcoming shows include Decoys and Wildlife Gallery in Frenchtown and Connexions in Easton.
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