Theater & art


Anthony Palocci Jr. and the art of everyday things

Anthony Palocci Jr.

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Anthony Palocci Jr.

Age: 26

Hometown: Beverly


Think of: Palocci takes on June Cleaver’s subject matter — the most mundane details of domestic interiors — with the realist’s attention of Wayne Thiebaud, the rough-edged paint application of Philip Guston, and a zingy color sense, his warm tones sometimes veiled in gray.

What caught our eye: Palocci’s canvas “Take-out,” now up in “Reveal,” an exhibition at the Hallway Gallery in Jamaica Plain — a gorgeously painted interior of a wide-open takeout container, snappily geometric in shades of gray with luscious undercoats of red seeping through.

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Light-bulb moment: “For a long time, I was thinking a lot about what to paint, trying to think of a situation or narrative. Then it was literally turning the lights on and seeing what was directly in front of me.” That includes: the inside of an empty refrigerator, an air conditioning window unit, and burners on a stovetop.

Biggest thrill: “I spoke to [painter] Will Barnet on the phone before he passed away [last fall, at 101]. He’s also a Beverly native. We were supposed to meet up. I think he’s a great painter. He’s a compositional genius. He makes no distinction between a cat and a person in his earlier works, and you see that balance, too, in his abstractions.”

Biggest surprise: Palocci has been tapped for the 2013 deCordova Biennial, opening in October. “Knowing more people are going to see the work somehow makes the paintings mean more. I would make them anyway, but the fact that they are going to be seen in this context is very rewarding.”


Inspired by: “My most direct influences have been my professors, Tim Harney, Nat Meade, and Ross Neher.” Also: Hans Hofmann, Balthus, Thomas Nozkowski, and Forrest Bess.

Aspires to: “I want to make a career out of painting and teaching.”

For good luck: As a studio ritual, “I drink coffee. I have studio clothes I wear, and I turn on NPR, and when I have enough change in my pocket I’ll get a cornbread muffin.”

What people should know: “Those
everyday things are just there, and what happens around them will always be happening. Even though X, Y, or Z happened today, I still have to do the dishes. At the end of the day, there are all the things around no matter how I feel or what someone just said to me. They’ll be there even after I am.”

Coming soon: The 2013 deCordova Biennial, and a solo show at et al projects in Brooklyn, N.Y., next spring.,,


Cate McQuaid can be reached at
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