Paolo Arao at Jeff Bailey

Paolo Arao and John Miserendino Cabinet 2006 tube televisions, DVD players, plywood, screw, flashe paint, blue extension cord [detail of installation with still from DVD]

It's like walking into a wonderful playhouse populated by four very good, gentle friends. But the installation and the images might just possibly be even more beautiful than the party itself.

Jeff Bailey has installed in his gallery (or has seen installed) "Intermission", a delightful mix of photographs and drawings surrounding a sculpture of a very unBabel-ish tower. It's basically Paolo Arao's show, but together all of his images document a weekend road trip which included the artist John Miserendino and two other very good friends, Patrick and Dennis.

John and Paolo and Patrick and Dennis went on a weekend road trip to the Catskills. The drive took far longer than they'd thought it would, but despite various mishaps along the way they had a good time. By the time they arrived at the cottage, all four were faint with hunger. Of course, restaurants are scarce and close early in small Catskill towns, so they cooked what they could find at the Stewart's convenience store in the next town over. The meal came out marvelously. Microwave pizza, ice cold beer, and even a six-pack of Smirnoff Ice!

The four decided to have a party. They sang songs and danced and drank and got very drunk.

Innocent affections are rarely represented with such grace as they are here. You'll probably wish you went to the Catskills with them, as I certainly did, but this gallery show offers something almost more satisfactory.

Until now I'd only seen Arao's works on paper.

As the low lighting made documentation virtually impossible last Saturday, I've gone to the gallery site itself to upload one of the drawings.

Paolo Arao Patrick with Lamp 2006 graphite on paper [dimensions not given] [large detail]

And I've uploaded below an image of one of the works which I think I had seen last year in the back of the gallery.

Paolo Arao Untitled (Ted) 2005 oil, flashe and charcoal on panel 11" x 14"

[the two lower images from Jeff Bailey Gallery]