FC - I was like, 5 years old, and the teacher, I remember her name, Miss Scullion, she realized that I was more advanced in art, and she gave me water colours to work with. What, in your mind, took precedent? EL - Actually, it’s not just seeing art, it’s being able to read art as well. Paintings G, ery, FEDERICO CASTELLUCCIO PAINTINGS. Was this period a game of survival, and if so, how does that survival game affect an artist’s fluidity? FC - OK, I’ve got it some where, I’ll dig it out. Federico Castelluccio - Give respect to every single discipline that you are working on, if you do that, and if you don’t do it for any ulterior motive, people will notice that, and they will respect you for that. Private Collection, New York, Oil on poplar panel, 9” x 9” Federico Castelluccio is an internationally renowned realist painter, art collector and connoisseur of old master, baroque painting. FC - Yes, I just remember a lot from the three and half years in Naples. An interview with Federico Castelluccio, to whom readers of AAD around the world would recognize in an instant as Furio Giunta on the HBO series, “The Sopranos,” the baseball bat wielding enforcer from Naples who re-established order in Tony Soprano's house, when he decided the homegrown talent had grown complacent. When we got to Paterson New Jersey, it was very different, the streets were wider, there was a lot of space, and you know, it was right around that time when I started going into school that I realized that people were paying attention to me because of my drawing. What it did was, the fame actually gave me a forum for more people to know that I’m a painter and see my work. FC - And it happened that the German guys who were doing the interview with me, were able to get into the auction, and got permission to film while I was there, and to cut a long story short, I actually won the painting on camera, and it is unequivocally by Giordano. When did that happen? One of them was a Saint Sebastian. That is really the key to acting, it’s not acting but "being", and so that was my beginning. Our team of world-class specialists approve every seller on 1stDibs. Prior to that, the only thing we know, is that it was in Guercino’s private home, because at the time of his death in 1666, his biographer, which was the biographer for many painters in Bologna, Count Cesare Malvasia, and he wrote of Guercino's death, he went to his home and noticed that there were 40 paintings from different time periods in his life which Guercino had kept in his own home and in his possession. Unlike painting, I didn’t have the innate skill, I had to learn how to act, actually, you have to learn how not to act, more than anything. 9 1/2” x 7 1/8”, Color pencil and oil on black paper 48” x 60” FC - When you say, what was the methodology, what do you mean by that? In fact, prior to this interview, I’m sitting there thinking, how the f**k do I interview someone with so many skill sets? And they wanted me to do a painting of the Sopranos cast for one of their covers, and I said, I appreciate this but there is no way I can do that, because in my style, which is realism, it would take me months and months and months to create 14 – 16 portraits of the Soprano cast? Only when I would sit and watch my sister draw and see something come to life on a piece of paper. I said, right, we’re not friggen doing anything you're suggesting, and both guys sat back down, and that outburst literally diffused the situation, later they made up, and big hugs all round. 7” x 5” Long before he became famous, his art work from that time period had wound up in museums around the USA. It was an incredible relief for me. I was planning on looking at them on the way out. Copyright© 2000-2020 askART All Rights Reserved® - askART is a registered trademark. FC - Here’s what I try apply to film directing. FC - My family and I left Naples in 1968, I was only three and half years old at the time. Shop authentic Federico Castelluccio drawings and watercolor paintings and paintings from the world's best dealers. In real life, Federico Castelluccio is an extraordinary talented painter, in addition to being a famous actor, director and writer. FC - Yes, quite. I mean in order to acquire it, I realized that I could only go up to a certain amount, and that I would have to bring in a partner. EL - To quote a well known friend involved in the film industry on your directing, it’s “off the f**king charts”. There are several galleries who would like to show my work, and there are some unorthodox galleries. EL - So I guess it’s far better to have a niche audience, who are already in appreciation of your work, you can keep it tight that way. FC - No no no, I swear, I have people that were in the class with me, that I’m still friends with that can verify that. He said yes, in fact he had a conservator coming the next day, and when he comes, he might be able to tell me what it might cost to fix this, if I were interested in buying it. federico, castelluccios, portrait, of, tony, and, carmela, soprano, inspired ... Federico Castelluccio, Federico Castelluci at the ... Federico Castelluccio Paintings, Official Website. I was visiting Yvonne, and her family, it was the first time I went to Germany, and I was actually going to Italy to present a painting to the Chigi Palace Museum, in Ariccia right outside of Rome, and it was a small portrait of one of the Royal members of the Chigi family, which is now in their permanent collection. I went to high school, and high school (Passaic County Tech) did not have an acting or theatre program at the time, but it did have a phenomenal art program and that is what I focused on. What is your favourite piece out of every piece you have ever painted and sold, and why? He was born in Naples, Italy and moved to the US in 1968. Private Collection, New York, Oil on wood The teacher was Molly McCarthy, and people like Matt Dillon and his brother Kevin, Dash Mihok, Heather Graham, and many other great actors came out of that class. EL - I’ve been told that you are NBC’s art expert. They sell Old Master paintings, mainly German and Dutch. Private Collection, New York, Oil on poplar panel Now, many of the experts including David Stone, Nicholas Turner and Luigi Salerno, write that no one could pin point what painting this is. That’s great, but it's not really the reason one should get into it. I do speak and read Italian, which is an advantage, because a lot of these books have never been translated, that’s why most of the experts can speak and read Italian in order to study and research. FC - OK, even before I decided that this was something I was going to venture into, way before that I was always intrigued by television and theatre. I had always kind of managed to juggle the two careers seperately, but when Sopranos came along, it affected things in a different way. Many Happy Returns (1986) Oil on wood, 30” x 24” Permanent Collection of Yale Fine Art Museum, Connecticut Now I’m armed with whatever resume this is, and this head shot. I called him up, he answered, I heard his voice, and I hung up. It was an incredible relief for me. He came across my work through the Knoedler gallery, and through someone that worked with the Knoedler Gallery. Collection of Peggy and Laurence Steigrad, Steigrad Fine Art Gallery, New York, Portrait of the artists maternal grandfather (1984) Federico Castelluccio, is an internationally renowned realist painter, art collector and connoisseur of old master, baroque painting. EL - I guess that can be a problem, having mastered two forms of the arts can possibly be confusing for people. Private Collection, New Jersey, Oil on canvas So, I wrote a nice e-mail, they forwarded it to the owners, and they came back and said unfortunately, it has to go through auction because it was from a family's estate, and the attorney that is handling the estate, legally have to do it that way. 16” x 20” My grandparents and my aunts and uncles were here already, and others followed from my family. EL - In essence, then, you tried to keep both areas completely separate and the fame has shone a light on your art, as opposed to you trying to put that side of your various careers forward. Yahoo forma parte de Verizon Media. Whether it turns out that way is a different question. That was the initial spark, and obviously being quite visual, these things travelled into why I became a painter. I was convinced that it was the same hand and the same painter that did both paintings, so I went back to the auction house, and I have to tell you, I made a big stink. I’m thinking, how many great things has this guy done? Private Collection, New Jersey, Oil on poplar panel, 9” x 9” EL - 85 - 2000 - Journey man, artist, actor. Now I’m really trying to find the best teachers and everything, and I came home one day, and turned on the TV set to hear the news, and it was towards the end of the segment that they were doing something on a casting director. But perhaps, when you’ve made it, as you have, I guess you think, I wish I could have that painting back? When I caught up with her, she said there’s a Sebastian in the stack of paintings on the landing, and she knows I love Sebastian as a subject matter. So one last question, then I’m going to love ya, and leave ya. Private Collection, Toronto, Canada, Oil on wood It was my idea of a head shot, as I didnt know what one should look like.

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