About the Piano
Location: Coney Island Boardwalk, Boardwalk & Stillwell Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Hours: Dawn to dusk
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I make no secret of my fascination with Coney Island, and I think of it as a magical place. I even thought of it as a magical place during the 1980's when it was a decaying shell of itself. Somehow this threadbare relic of the past seemed to speak to me of childhood and the loss of innocence. In my interpretations of Coney Island then and now, I paint it with an other-worldly palette, my attempt to breathe life into this magical place and to make it magic again. Some of that is also to rekindle the viewer's childhood sense of wonder. The concept of my piece is also contained in the title, "Wonder," which comes from the neon sign that has been there for decades. My piece is filled with fantastic creatures, water balloon race clowns, over-sized ice cream cones, and, of course, the beach with Brooklyn's Eiffel Tower- the Parachute Jump. The colors are vibrant, if not vibrating. There is a sense that this is a city landscape, with shadows of apartment buildings in the background. The large neon letters spelling "WONDER" take center stage on the piano. I envision this piano as a fun, lively, and in some ways nostalgic piece that recalls summer carnivals and breezy days on the beach. I hope it will appeal to children and adults alike for different reasons. It will be hard not to look at because of its vibrancy and fun theme.
About the Artist
Christopher Spinelli is a life-long Brooklyn resident who has been creating art in Brooklyn for over 30 years. He studied art at the Brooklyn Museum and the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan where he received his BFA in Media Arts and Illustration. His journey through the world of art began at a young age when he first decorated his parent's bedroom set with colored chalk. His one-man show, "Sodom by the Sea" which opened at the Visual Arts Gallery in 1989 chronicled the decaying landscape of Coney Island during the 1980's and it became the backbone for his website www.brooklyndreamland.com. On his Brooklyn Dreamland website, Spinelli displays much of his visual reportage work from Coney Island created on site, but also gives a glimpse at his work in portraiture and his works in a variety of media. He has been the Visual Arts Instructor for the REACH Program that serves academically gifted but economically disadvantaged boys and readies them for successful high school careers.