Monday, June 27, 2011
Emil Cerullo: A Mysterious Mister “E” behind the E Gallery Studios
His collaboration with JD Miller grew into a strong friendship. JD Miller became Emil’s mentor in the arena of hosting a radio show and in the arena of art (see my post about JD’s art). Emil often saw JD working on his three-dimensional oil paintings. Five years ago, one evening JD suggested that Emil should experiment with paints as a way to release stress. JD liked Emil’s spontaneity in painting and encouraged him produce more artwork. Sic, Emil became a visual artist in his early forties. Emil and JD partnered in Reflection Fine Art gallery in Dallas, TX. In six months, Emil painted 25 oil pieces and sold 18 at his first show. Yet, he was skeptical about his first artistic success, “I’ve been successful in business and friends came that had money: attorneys, accountants and people who were clients of mine… I felt like they gave me a gratuitous like, ‘I’ll buy your painting; I’ll buy your painting.’ At that point I wasn’t sure if I could do it.”
However, at his second show he had a brand new customer who made Emil believe in a worth of his art. “We had catered the event and there was a young guy who was a bartender and he really liked my art.” During the second show, “The bartender kid came back, and he said “I really want to buy this painting.” I felt like this is the first person I had actually sold a painting to that couldn’t afford it but was moved by it.”
Emil has created a lot of artwork that touched people’s emotional string. For example, the painting “War” emerged from Emil’s attempts to repaint a canvas a few times, made one of the gallery visitors cry. Even though it is an abstract work of art, that gentlemen who was so moved by the painting exclaimed “I was there! That’s war!” It turned out he fought in Afghanistan years before, and the artwork reminded him of the dusty, bloody battlefield.
Emil and JD Miller ended their partnership at Reflection Gallery several years ago and now each of them manages his own gallery. JD co-owns Samuel Lynne Galleries with Philip Romano, and Emil Cerullo owns E Gallery Studios. E Gallery Studios is a working studio for local artists, a creative space for art events, and, of course, an exhibition space. Emil’s beautiful wife, Wendy helps him to run the gallery.