Anthony Paul Filiberto: In Broad Strokes
Brenda Silva, a painter who also helps manage Cortile, gushes similar accolades, crediting Kerry for literally plucking her from obscurity. She had been renting studio space at P-town’s Whaler’s Wharf, never selling paintings for more than $20, when Kerry happened to see the “Open” and “Closed” signs she had painted for the door of the Provincetown Chamber of Commerce—a simple dune scene and a boat.
From there Kerry short-circuited Silva’s starving artist route, selling the first of many of her paintings at the gallery for a much more significant sum than she had been used to. Today, Silva is a top-selling artist at Cortile. Kerry’s eye is almost preternaturally spot on.
Silva also echoes artist Walsh’s sentiments about Tony’s artistic generosity, his ability to tread lightly in encouraging other artists to do their best work. “He would only come forward if I asked his opinion,” she says. “The only things he would say unsolicited were positive ones. ‘I love the direction that’s going in’ or ‘This is great.’”
Collectors as well as artists appreciated Tony’s friendship, in addition to his talent. Peter Sadow, a physician who serves as Director of Head and Neck Pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital, has about 10 A Paul paintings that encompass what he calls “the whole range of his styles.” There are the ones of Provincetown’s Long Point where you can see what Sadow refers to as Tony’s “three-dimensionality, the flow of the waves, the sand, how the sea and sky come together.” There are the florals, the cityscapes in which “he would mix blacks and whites but then put a punch of color in them with the red tail lights of cars….”
But beyond that, Sadow likes that he was able to just pop into the studio or gallery even if he wasn’t in the market for a painting and “talk about anything, talk about life.” And he appreciated that Tony and Kerry had an intriguing ying and yang. “Tony was always covered in paint. He was a streak-of-paint-on-the-face type of guy and completely gooey in terms of emotional flow,” Sadow says. “Kerry is more Jacqueline Kennedy, more formal. Whereas other people in Provincetown galleries might be in overalls and flannel, Kerry is wearing a cocktail dress and heels. That difference between them was an interesting dichotomy to experience. But it worked, and she loved him voraciously.”
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