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Joseph Fuchs is carefully creating a world. His world, peopled with Pulcinella, a masked clown from commedia dell'arte, resides in Venice. Each painting of this microcosm reflects some aspect, action or emotion of the real world. Someone asked him once, "Why place a clown in the scene? Why not just paint the cityscapes?" He answered with an observation: "I once bought a bronze replica of the faun that sat in a villa in Pompeii. I placed it in the center of the backyard lawn. With its presence, the garden has become animated. Pulcinella does the same for my Venetian paintings." Fuchs can draw this figure with ease. The stances evolve often as he draws Pulcinella. He refines the figure as the composition progresses, but many figures flow directly from this collective experiences. Training as a portrait painter and years of continuous sketching have given him the skill to produce at will Pulcinella in any pose.

The steps he takes to complete a work consist of a planned progression. The cityscapes evolve from a montage of photographs of Venice. He peoples these scenes from his imagination. He manipulates a series of photographic scenes until they perfectly fit a well thought out narrative idea. This combination results in a unique, dramatic metaphor centered on Pulcinella as the main thrust of the composition. In ink he executes a completed sketch in a book that records all his plans for his sepia watercolors, which set up the values of the composition. He then transfers the image onto linen canvas. He traces over the pencil image in indelible ink and then removes the pencil with turpentine. He starts to paint with the darkest values and evenly works around the canvas. He usually completes the work with the whites of the Pulcinelli. After a period of drying, he seals the canvas with a medium reflective varnish.

Definite rules abide in Fuchs's visual world. The majority of his paintings have figures of Pulcinella in Venice. Pulcinella is the only masked figure who cannot remove his mask, and for this reason Pulcinella represents all that one could or would want to be. The boundaries of Pulcinella's world, therefore, are not finite. His world only knows the limits of the human spirit, a continuum that bounces back and forth between comedy and tragedy, weakness and strength, love and hate. With Pulcinella in his masked state, Fuchs is free to explore all corners of human nature. He has been painting Pulcinella since 1982.

Stylistically, Fuchs concentrates on several aspects. Gestures abound and in many instances direct the eye around the canvas. The contrapostal positions, especially the lines established by Pulcinella's hat, direct the eye around the composition. Fuchs works very attentively with the eye movement, for he is very concerned that the flow of the composition is smooth. He fastidiously applies paint. In many instances each paint stroke is a different color. Usually he paints with a brush one-fourth inch wide. He applies paint by several methods: glazing, layering of partially opaque color and painting color side-by-side.