Born 1968 in Chula Vista California, Patrick Marasso grew up in the Sacramento area. Currently represented by JayJay Fine Arts, Marasso has exhibited widely in Sacramento since 1996, having been represented by The Michael Himovitz Gallery, Exploding Head Gallery, and Verge Gallery. Marasso is a full time instructor of painting and drawing at Sierra College in Rocklin, California.
Statement from recent shows: Album Selections
Album Selections is a continuing exploration of the poetic possibilities that lie between the conventions of a traditional oil painting process and the analog snapshot. I find there is a universal sentiment in the veracity of vernacular photography that evokes a shared narrative, further strengthened by painting’s uniquely private/public vision. The snapshots on their own, facilitators of social relations, are often delegated to a life in seclusion, but through painting find function as a greater gesture of social inclusion.
I am fascinated by the banal snapshot, the familiarity in such images that were derived by an indiscriminate approach to personal documentation. From dinner parties to camping trips, they contain an artless commonality with their clunky compositions, poor lighting, and faded color. In appropriating these uncareful candid shots, I look to bring the casual imagery of the untrained into the context of the gallery, executed with the style and medium of traditional oil painting. Knowledge of the people or places in the source image is unnecessary, I prefer to rid myself of psychological distractions personal connections to the photographs can induce. The shared choice in recording these moments of leisure is one I find a kinship to.
Patrick Marasso, 2015
In the paintings of Patrick Marasso, one is pulled in by snapshots of another life. Each work carefully recreates the tiniest detail of square cut old photographs that surely once languished away in attics, moldy cardboard boxes, or albums before being pulled out of obscurity by Marasso. On the surface these paintings seem like little odes to obsession, technically impressive recreations of a forgotten moment. Beneath this technical mastery is a tinge of the painterly, a softening of edges and forms like the fading detail of a memory.
These recreated worlds feel exotically alien and compellingly familiar at the same time. They are artifacts of mid-20th century, suburban Americana, loaded with markers of passé fashion. There are dark wood paneled walls, dubious childhood events, strict gender dichotomies, and stereotypical businessmen letting off steam in an alcoholic, ritualistic release. They feel foreign, yet indelibly authentic in their awkwardness, their earnestness. Even to those who do not come from these nearly fabled cultures, they feel undeniably familiar. Theses cultures are woven into the fabric of American mythos and we easily find archetypes to identify: the life of the party, the sly wit, the alienated, and the inexplicably strange that every family boasts somewhere in story and memory.
There is a sadness here too, of real people and moments forgotten, memories thrown away or lost, out of date traditions to be horrified by and yet nostalgic for. The quality of fading softness on the surface of the painting reminds us of the distance they have travelled from the indelibly human. Few people will be capable of not at least briefly wondering what will happen to their own material histories in the light of these images. We can be both disturbed and hopeful that they could end up here someday, as art, as a conversation forever interrupted, as an exotic foray to be enjoyed for its strangeness and its familiarity.
On some levels these images bring to mind Edward Hopper, only rather than focusing on modern alienation, these look backwards to a time equally enshrined and condemned by contemporary times. These stolen moments become a place of cultural memory and confrontation, of filling the blanks with our own narratives. We want the narrative that is being deliberately denied, and are left cobbling it together from title and visual clues, from history, from lingering ideas of what community was then and is now. We wonder in each image what exactly about this specific photograph caught the artist’s eye, why he chose this moment to be enshrined, conjuring up another absent narrator. This renders these carefully executed paintings incredibly appealing, the viewer always coming back for one more look, one more expedition into a foreign, familiar land.
Professor of Art History
Work that mocks time can be seen as comedy, and work that mourns time’s effects, as tragedy. Such notable contemporary painters as Luc Tuymans and Gerhard Richter have made paintings that isolate tipping points of recent history to make a record of tragic turns in human events. Patrick Marasso goes back in time not for the Big Statement but to analyze the social foibles and conventions of just a few decades ago. He uses his found photographs as a time detective might, dropping in at parties of twenty or thirty years ago to try and decipher the coded narratives of long lost and forgotten social occasions.
Renny Pritikin, Flatlanders 3, 2010
2005 M.A., California State University, Sacramento, CA
1991 B.F.A., (Painting and Drawing), California State University,
Long Beach, CA
2016 Reboot, 15th Anniversary Celebration
2016 * Album Selections, Ridley Gallery, Sierra College, Rocklin CA
2015 30 Painters to Collect, Blue Line Gallery, Roseville CA
2015 * Album Selections, JayJay, Sacramento, CA
2014 Generations, SMUD Art Gallery, Sacramento, CA
2013 * Others', JayJay, Sacramento, CA
2012 Classic Cars West Gallery, Oakland, CA
artMRKT, San Francisco, CA
Flatlanders on the Slant, Nelson Gallery, Davis CA
2010 Verge@Axis, Axis Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Flatlanders 3, Nelson Gallery, Davis, CA
2009 Magic Window, Verge Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Faculty Exhibition, Ridley Gallery, Sierra College, Rocklin, CA
Macho, Tangent Gallery, Sacramento, CA
CAST, Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento, CA
KVIE Art Auction, KVIE Studios, Sacramento, CA
Kitsch, Tangent Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Skateboard Show, BitchinʼSpace Gallery, Sacramento, CA
2008 CAST, Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento, CA
Meeting 2.0, The Conference Room Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
The Circus Show, Verge Gallery, Sacramento, CA
*Retro, works from 1998-2008, BitchinʼSpace Gallery,
2007 Collaborative Works, BitchinʼSpace Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Meeting 1.3, The Conference Room Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
The Circus Show, BitchinʼSpace Gallery, Sacramento, CA
2006 Games, Exploding Head Gallery, Sacramento, CA
By land or by sea, Exploding Head Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Collaborative Works, Bitchinʼ Space Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Holes in the Head, monthly installation and performance works,
Exploding Head Gallery, Sacramento, CA
2005 Faculty Exhibition, Ridley Gallery, Sierra College, Rocklin, CA
*eBay works, Exploding Head Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Graduate Exhibition, Uptown Studios, Sacramento, CA
Holes in the Head, Exploding Head Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Drop Your Drawers, Sacramento Fine Arts Center, Carmichael, CA
M.A., Graduate Student Exhibition, California State University,
Sacramento, Sacramento, CA
2004 Figuratively Speaking, Exploding Head Gallery, Sacramento, CA
* Stanford Faculty Club, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
By Land or By Sea, Exploding Head Gallery, Sacramento, CA
2003 *Yoked, Exploding Head Gallery, Sacramento, CA
2000-01 Art Ark, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
2000 *Guise, Michael Himovitz Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Artists from the Michael Himovitz Gallery, LIMN Gallery,
San Francisco, CA
Crocker Kingsley Exhibition, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
1999 California Works, California State Exhibition, Sacramento, CA
1998 *Lenn.Mara Lanes, Michael Himovitz Gallery, Sacramento, CA
California Works, California State Exhibition, Sacramento, CA
1997 Stocking Stuffers: Small Works and Miniatures for the Holidays,
CSUS/50, Michael Himovitz Gallery, Sacramento, CA
New Space/New Work, Michael Himovitz Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Artists from the Michael Himovitz Gallery, Mesa Verde Art Gallery,
Citrus Heights, CA
*Collaborative Stuff, with John Lennertz, Michael Himovitz Gallery,
Art-Religion, Religion-Art, Encina Art Gallery, Carmichael, CA
1996 *Introductions 1996, Michael Himovitz Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Patrick Marasso, The Ad Group, Auburn CA
1995 *New Paintings, Winstead Library Gallery, Sierra College,
1991 Student Annual, University Art Museum, California State University,
Long Beach, CA
GaGaʼs Invitational, Long Beach, CA
Friends of the Ocean, The Co-Op Gallery, Redondo Beach, CA
Performance piece, The Triangle Club, New York, NY
1990 Student Annual, University Art Museum, California State University,
Long Beach, CA
(*) solo show
Shoka, 'January Picks, The vintage effect', Sacramento News & Review, January ,10, 2013.
Dalkey, Victoria, “Criticʼs Pick,” image, The Sacramento Bee, November 9, 2003.
Blunk, Dawn, “State of the Art,” Sacramento Magazine, April 1999.
Blunk, Dawn, “Combine Talents,” Sacramento Magazine, October 1998.
Dalkey, Victoria, “Second Saturday, Second Shift,” The Sacramento Bee,
Zamborski, Dan “Childrenʼs Hour,” Sacramento News & Review, August 1996.
Dalkey, Victoria, “Barbie & Other Newcomers,” The Sacramento Bee, July 1996.
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
Jon Stevenson, Sacramento, CA
Lial Jones, Sacramento, CA
Jennifer Sparks, Sacramento, CA
University Art Department, California State University, Long Beach, CA
Steven Goldstein, Asheville, NC
Rosalind Hsia, M.D., Sacramento, CA
Randy Placy, Sacramento, CA
Andrew Collier, Esq.
Linda Winchester, Sacramento, CA
Liv Moe & Tim Foster, Sacramento, CA
Skip & Shirley Rosenbloom, Sacramento, CA
Kay Lehr, Sacramento, CA