REVIEWS

       

Monson Arts Council, "Black and White and Everything in Between"  2010....about "Goop Therapy" Honorable Mention for 3-D

A  highly original and inventive work, a very clever visual pun... this piece is fun and witty.  The ceramic technique is fine tuned and impressive.

Jude Schwendenwien, The Hartford Courant  Arts,  Best Art Shows of 1995

"The past year was the first full year that Artworks Gallery spent in its new space on Pearl Street.  In November, Barbara Scavotto-Earley introduced her strongest body of work to date, a series of clay and mixed media sculptures...Scavotto-Earley experienced a growth spurt while quietly focusing on her work. SINce My Last Confession featured satirical figures representing each of the Seven Deadly Sins, inspired no doubt by the artist's own Catholic upbringing."

The New York Times, SINce My Last Confession, Sculpture with a Message

"...For all their brimstone and fire messages the works are elegant, imaginative, rather medieval and fascinating."

Jude Schwendenwein, Art New England  Regional Reviews, CT

"Sculpture that moves beyond pure forms in space to address content can, if conceived and executed carefully, have a confrontational effect on viewers.  SINce My Last Confession proves to be a cathartic experience for artist Barbara Scavotto-Earley, who has been working on this body of work for two-and-a-half years.  Combining elements of caricature, satire and an obsessive accumulation of objects, these mostly figurative representations in clay and mixed media tackle an old but classic theme - the Seven Deadly Sins.  The works possess a funky accessibility that can appeal to both Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

The installation of these deliberately excessive works is, ironically, elegant and balanced.  Scavotto-Earley gives us plenty of space to deal with each sin on a one-to-one basis.  Her incorporation of kitsch and low-brow ornamentation stands for a certain indulgence.  If a piece comes out looking grotesque, like the sinister dominatrix representing Lust, that's okay for the artist because the ugliness of sin is also part of its perverse, lurid attraction.  The artist places her victims of self-indulgence in the present day in order to ask why decadence has as strong a hold over us as it did over our ancestors centuries ago.

...any show that so directly addresses - and questions - the impact of Catholic imagery and iconography is sure to stir up controversy.  The show's strongest statement comes from the one piece that represents a stylistic departure for the artist.  Occupying a side wall close to the gallery's entrance is Instrument of Prayer, a monumental rosary with a giant crucifix made from clay, jute, oak and branches.  The large round beads are adorned with three-dimensional faces of catholic icons (presumably Jesus and the Virgin Mary). The piece is heavy, so that the lower area falls to the ground.  Devout Catholics may be outraged that Scavotto-Earley has willfully distorted the beloved "instrument" while others may find here a message about the excessiveness of religious obsession."

Tracey O'Shaughnessy, Republican-American, Vice AS NICE

"Enfield Artist transforms her unease with Catholic confession into sculptures of the seven deadly sins...The work explores the nature of sin and confession, largely by fusing traditional Catholic and contemporary iconography.  It opens with an enormous, sobering rosary, which runs from floor to ceiling and is forged of coconut-sized ceramic beads drawn together with rope.  A rustic wooden cross hangs at the center.  The rosary lends a sense of gravity to this otherwise wry exploration of sin.

...in Scavotto-Earley's pantheon of dirty deeds the offenders are scandalously familiar.  The snooty-nosed princess of perfection, with her mantle full of trophies, the town slob stuffing his face with pizza and tacos.  The dead-beat couch potato, splayed out on the sofa, TV remote on her unshaven legs and doughnut crumbs on her chest, bewitched by a television that is also a gravestone.

...Scavotto-Earley seems to suggest that all sins are not equal.  A sloth, or a glutton, for instance, is unattractive and buffoonish, but not necessarily satanic.  Wrath, on the other hand, is appallingly ugly; and Lust is rapaciously revolting.  Pride is  more irritating than damning; as is Envy, a slimy little creature tattooed with the letters N and V.  Scavotto-Earley seems to suggest that the deleterious sins are not so much the ones that consume us as the ones that harm others, a not unreasonable conclusion given her experience.

...it is bound to leave viewers more bewildered than ever about the mystery of confession and penance."

Anne M. Hamilton, The Hartford Courant, Molding the Seven Deadly Sins

on sculptures from SINce My Last Confession - "...the details are subtle and humorous and the exhibit provocative."

Steve Starger, Journal Inquirer,  Arts etc.

"The exhibit breaks down into depictions of the Seven Deadly Sins, a series of Penance game boards, and a huge installation of the rosary, with a wooden cross surrounded by large rosary beads forged from clay cast in coconut shells.  The rosary's size and lack or irony state Scavotto-Earley's serious purpose in exploring the powerful imagery of her Catholic life.  But that doesn't stop her from injecting some wry humor into her seven deadly sinners...Scavotto-Earley continues her church theme by giving her sinners faces that resemble the gargoyles that look down from cathedrals.  A number of moods flit through this exhibit; at times, it's hard to know whether Scavotto-Earley is being satirical or purging an inner demon or giving a moral lesson.  But her work is technically accomplished and woolly enough to provoke reactions that may be , well, sinful."

Steve Starger, Journal Inquirer, Of 'Humans Being' Themselves

"Hartford's Artworks Gallery welcomes fall with a cast of allegorical characters created by Enfield artist and sculptor Barbara Scavotto-Earley.  Earley's new exhibit of sculpture, Humans Being telegraphs its content in the title.  Scavotto-Earley's array of figures come in myriad shapes and sizes and perform an array of literal and metaphorical activities, from praying to swinging on gymnastic equipment. 

Scavotto-Earley becomes the ringmaster or director - of her own version of the human comedy.  Her figures, though nude and featureless, display all manner of human traits and emotions: joy, love, spirituality, uncertainty, restraint, freedom, existential confusion, and certainly not least, humor.  Scavotto-Earley, through her punning titles, shows that she's not overly serious or self-consciously profound.

Scavotto-Earley uses ambiguity to great effect...Are her figures linked by choice?  Are they trapped in their environments or inhabiting them by choice?  Perhaps this is interpreting Scavotto-Earley's work a little too closely, but her constructions inspire such musings.  They can also be enjoyed on their own surface terms.  Like Alexander Calder's miniature circus, Scavotto-Earley's depictions of "humans being" strike the funny bone and tickle the brain cells."

Patricia Rosoff, The Hartford Advocate, Battling Dragons

"What About You? is not your garden-variety group show.  It's more like a self-help manual, one laid out as a pilgrimage and guided by a trail of carefully selected wall texts.  Barbara Scavotto-Earley takes a tongue-in-cheek poke at self-importance.  The figure (Pride) is embellished with mini-statuettes at each shoulder and her knee, and clutches a triple-figured trophy, each figure named "Me", "Myself" and "I" respectively."

Owen McNally, The Hartford Courant, ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT

"Real Art Ways' No England/No Amsterdam II is a kaleidoscopic celebration of contemporary art.  It's a themeless, even helter-skelter but bold exhibition loaded with visual variety popping out of 225 works by 58 artists from throughout New England and New York state...Barbara Scavotto-Earley is a sculptor with a deft hand and nimble wit who mixes the amusing and the Gothic in Gluttony - which has been nicknamed Cake Boy - looks like a bewhiskered medieval monk who's gone to seed from perhaps too much time in the desert.  But it's desserts, not deserts that  have transformed this junk-food addict, this weak clay vessel into an obese, bowling-pin shaped glutton...gorges himself on Scavotto-Earley's hilarious sculpted cakes and a taco.  There's a glazed look in his eyes.  His backpack is stuffed with enough fries, soda and goodies for a caloric orgy."

 

 

Barbara Scavotto Earley Sculpture