Category: Object Series

life remote
“Life Remote 2” – 19x48in, plywood and words, Jeff Del Nero, 2017

Life Remote

These are in progress. I have somewhat of an idea that is not quite ready yet, but I am still working on this concept. To me it’s like a poem of words that we use in an automatic way. I think it can be a fun idea to think that our lives are managed in a “remote” kind of interaction.

We sit in one place and try to make things happen in another place. Using this bit of technology to assist us. This is our phone or our computer that becomes an extension of us. Although, many times there are not buttons for the things we wish could happen. Or events that we cannot control or undo.

life remote
“Life Remote 1” – 19x48in, plywood and words, Jeff Del Nero, 2017

My goal is to have the surface of this allude to life. The worn, random effects of living through life. The inevitable wear-and-tear that happens to us.
Because UX (user experience) is important to us in our daily lives, and my job many times is largely associated with a user’s experience, I wanted this to be less user friendly; on/off buttons are randomly placed in the midst of banks of buttons. Also, purposely dis-organizing usage, so it would be work to locate the correct button for the desired result. Chances for errors are increased.

Circles & Squares

When I had the opportunity to visit the Eastern Caroline Islands the island of Pohnpei, (location of Nan Madol) where some friends have lived their whole lives. They were taking me to the village where the carvers were. I had no idea that this particular trip would influence so many of my paintings in the future.

In a very dense jungle I found an opening in the foliage that revealed a concrete base and the grungy age-covered remains of a toilet. Yes, the lower part of a commode. It seemed so out of place under the heavy growth of shade. I snapped a photo of it and went on my way.

About 10 years later I was doing some drawings of various objects that I thought would be the remnants of our culture. The thought of a porcelain white toilet bowl was one that came to me. The idea that this will not rot. It will not decompose. It’s not flammable. At most, it can be broken down into smaller pieces, but really it will retain its nature and shape. This was one of the objects that I feScan_Ponape_toilet 2lt would be around long after we’re gone.

Other thoughts about the significance of the toilet is its station in our society. We are repulsed by the thought of it, yet at the very same time we are completely in debt to it. We expect that a toilet will be available to us where ever we are, but we want it out of our sight the rest of the time. The convenience and proximity are important to us, but we regard this object as something to disdain. The contrast of essential vs. awful started to intrigue me more and more – so I repeated these drawings to give a sense of personality, and honor to such a lowly object.

This particular painting has a toilet in an over-sized format to give it attention. I also painted it using metallics and interference paint, much like the look of icon paintings – along with dull and muddy paint to bring light to both sides of the contrasting ideas. The reflective paints give life to the painting by giving off different looks at various times of the day and shifting colors as you walk by it.

The object series includes repeated paintings of tires, fire hydrants, 3-way plugs, toilets, VW engines and chairs – a vocabulary of everyday objects that hold banal yet critical places in our society.


Still life painting of a prickley pear paddle and one of those decorative small pumpkinsHave you ever wondered what it is like to go to an artist’s studio and browse through the artwork? Not only on the walls, but in the studio racks that contain all of the artwork not currently hanging. It can be a ton of fun for an art appreciator and the artist too.

This Painting recently sold to a friend who was in Phoenix visiting family. She had simply called to see if Mary and I were available to have a studio visit on a Saturday morning. We said to come by and see what we have in the studio you may like.

It was quite a great experience for us to have a nice opportunity to sit down and spend time with someone curious about our work. Usually at an open studio we don’t get to talk about some of the subtleties of each painting. Last Saturday morning was different in that we had the time to discuss some very specific items that Caroline was interested in.

The warmth of his home and his person seem to manifest in each piece.”

“I first saw Jeff’s work several years ago and had the opportunity to hear him talk about his inspiration and the ‘layers’ he puts into each work of his. Labor, spirituality, everyday objects– he incorporates these into his pieces with such humanity and artistic talent. The warmth of his home and his person seem to manifest in each piece.

I took a liking to a still life of a prickly pear leaf and a pumpkin- somewhat similar to Morandi’s still lifes but with obviously a local uniqueness to it—I was told the prickly pear leaf and pumpkin were found laying around the Del Nero’s desert house one day. Also Jeff described the flat rendering of the background -where the vertical and horizontal planes are indistinguishable- as another distinctive element of the painting. Keep at it Jeff, your work is just awesome!!”

– Caroline Colangelo

Judgement Seat from Jeff Del Nero on Vimeo.

How do you depict forgiveness? How do you show the regret for sin? I have this painting that has a bird on a chair. In the both the Old and New Testaments there is reference to birds being used as sacrifices for certain types of sin. This painting is a very simplistic way of me showing Christ as that sacrifice. The bird is on the “Judgement Seat” and is free to fly away at any time. But there it is, willing and ready to be the sacrifice.

This painting has features that I love about being an artist. You can put images together, and people can react to them. I have heard the gambit on this one, from “depressing to hopeful.” Another element that I love about a painting is its confined area. In this size of a canvas all there is to consider is what is listed before you. I have a composition that aligns all of the elements towards the center. Definitely inspired by Giorgio Morandi, there’s no hiding that. He had his ways of grouping elements into a very challenging composition – usually it is more aesthetic to place objects in still life’s in a manner that gives rhythm and space to appeal. I like the in-your-face way his compositions say; “this is what I want to show.”

Painting is a great way to tell a story, because the viewer can spend as much time or as little time viewing (investing) to figure out the “story.” Books and Film are not as cooperative with your schedule. They say people spend less than 30 seconds looking at a work of art at any given time. One thing I hope to have in my work is enough to come back to and surmise about on the next viewing.