BAR HARBOR — D’Alessio Gallery, home of Maine artist Russell D’Alessio, will present “Outsider In: The Untamable Art of Tom Coyle” this September at 12 Mount Desert St., in Bar Harbor, on the Village Green. The opening reception for the month-long exhibit will be from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 2.
“It’s funny to be presenting the first gallery show ever for an emerging artist who happens to be 60,” said Linda D’Alessio, manager of D’Alessio Gallery. “And he’s been right under our noses for 20 years.”
In fact, Coyle and the D’Alessios are sort of related. “I’m their youngest son’s ex-brother-in-law,” said Coyle, of Bangor. “I always love seeing Russ and Linda at family events, they’re great people, and a good laugh.”
For most of the past 20 years, Coyle’s art never came up. “It’s my hobby, and as much as it’s fun, you don’t want to bore people with your hobby, especially when they’re real artists,” says Coyle. “But I kept painting when I had free time from work. When I got the chance to show Linda and Russ a few pieces, I guess they liked them.”
“I find [his paintings] fascinating. They’re powerful but very expressive with dark and light themes undercut with humor. Meanwhile, he’s mixing this sort of old-school punk-rock sensibility with the Middle Ages, archeological influences, history, strange symbolism, and really just a lot of imagination. Tom’s work is unusual and it’s authentic, and we expect collectors will take notice,” said Russell.
The show’s title refers to Coyle’s status as an “outsider” artist. “It means self-taught and you don’t really have contacts in the art world, which actually I do, but, yes, I don’t think anyone would be shocked to learn I’ve never had a lesson,” Coyle joked. “I also don’t have an amazing or tragic personal profile like some of those real outsider people, who sometimes led sad and restricted lives,” says Coyle. “I’m just a guy who paints.”
“We don’t do this often – feature another artist at the gallery,” Linda said. “But we felt compelled this year, by the work. People should see these paintings.”