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By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext

“Endangered” series inspired by and devoted to wolves

My friend, the remarkably talented Italian painter Ester Curini had never seen a live wolf until four years ago, when she visited The Wolf Conservation Center in North Salem, NY. She describes the experience as life changing.

She explains that she was inspired right then and there, to create an exhibition devoted solely to wolves. Wolves are, she says, ”one of the most misunderstood and persecuted animal of all time.”

Her solo exhibition, “Endangered,” runs March 2 to April 1 at Bernaducci Meisel Gallery, 37 West 57th St, New York.

Curini, who now lives in New York, says that a blog post by Rob Klavins’ A Eulogy for OR-4 “which broke my heart” inspired the studies that led to this exhibition. This is the award-winning painter’s third solo show.

Curini is entirely self-taught

She only began painting on canvas in 2005. She has a business degree, and no formal art training. Curini, who is entirely self-taught, first spends time with her subjects, to learn about each one’s unique personality. “Working on this show has been a journey,” she says.

Look very closely, at her paintings. You’ll see Curini’s reflection in the eyes of each of her subjects, who are looking intently at her when she takes the photos that are the basis of her paintings. As you can see in the detail, below, she then meticulously paints every hair of her subject, spending months on each huge canvas.

The 72″x48″ acrylic on canvas paintings in this show took four years to create. After visiting with the wolves to get to know the personality of each one, she works from photographs. In her paintings, she isolates the figures on seamless white background as “my way to concentrate only on the essentials that matter.”

The Wolf Conservation Center, located in South Salem, NY, is private not-for-profit organization founded in 1999 by Helene Grimaud. Their valuable mission is to promote wolf conservation by teaching about wolves how they are essential in our ecosystem.