Art Naples a Joy for Contemporary Art Lovers

BY March 23, 2012

Chuck Close

Whether you’re a serious collector or just a lover of modern art, Art Naples ( offers contemporary works sure to draw interest. The fair runs through 6 p.m. on Monday at the Naples International Pavilion, giving you ample time to peruse the modern masters and pick your perfect piece.

One of this year’s must-see attractions is by legendary illustrator Norman Rockwell. Island Weiss Gallery offers an oil on canvas piece that has never before exhibited publicly, Girl Asking Directions in French

Rockwell created it for the Jan. 30, 1932, Saturday Post cover. And the female model, Elizabeth Willard Chew, was given the illustration, which stayed in the family for several generations before switching ands to another private collection. So it hasn’t been seen much outside of the magazine cover.

Norman Rockwell
“It’s an extraordinarily good example of Rockwell,” says Len Orkin, a fellow fairgoer. His wife, Luise Orkin, agrees, adding, “It’s just so charming.”

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the American Glass Art Movement, Art Naples pays tribute to studio glass, featuring pioneers such as Dale Chilhuly, Albert Paley and Toots Zynsky

Toots Zynsky

Local talent, Alina Eydel’s work is best described as mesmerizing, offering you more than your eye can devour in a single look. She incorporates sketching, painting, glass beadwork and the occasional butterfly wing into her pieces. These seemingly small moments add depth to her work that makes it come alive.

Alina Eydel

Eydel’s process begins with a doodle, grows to a color sketch, transitions to a painted piece and finally succumbs to her beadwork. Her latest piece, Love (above), took four months to complete and was finished just this week. If you look carefully, you can see a woman in the foreground and a man in the background, which represents how man and woman encompass one another and are found within the other. Eydel will be at the fair on Friday and Monday to offer insights into all her works.

Need someone to turn your old boat into a bar or perhaps create a chandelier from a vintage vacuum? See Phil Stapleton, sculptor-extraordinaire. He specializes in finding “good bones” (aka vintage planes, cars, boats and other odds and ends) and transforming them in to wonderfully fun sculptures.

“I’m consumed by this whole form and function thing,” Stapleton says as he shows me his biggest piece, The Royale. This mammoth bar offers a treat for the eyes, while providing the functionality of a party bar for dinner guests to gather around. Beyond bars, the artist offers fanciful chandeliers and sculptures.

Phil Stapleton

You’ll find few right angles on Stapleton’s pieces, instead opting to use curves to express movement. “I don’t like right angles,” he says. “They’ve almost become offensive to me.”

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