Cella Neapolitan                                                          

                                                 Fine  Art  Photography 

ON  PAPER          ON  NOTE CARDS          IN  JEWELRY          IN  COLLAGE       




   Artist Statement



   CellaBrations Cards










2-1/8 x 3-1/4 inch collages of vintage portraits with fine art papers

One hundred of these little gems will be placed in former cigarette machines in art venues around the country. There they will join other mini-masterpieces to be "kerplunked" by visitors, often as their first original art purchase. 

This project is the brainchild of Art-o-Mat, about which more can be found @ artomat.org. I think it is ingenious to reinvent these rightfully-defunct vending machines *and* to bring together artists working on small scale with art lovers everywhere on a budget.

Each of my porTRAITS is unique and handmade, with different papers and signed CCN in a stylized butterfly on the front (a la James McNeill Whistler) and full signature on the back. There are four women and four men, photographs culled from my vintage collection. This is the artist statement accompanying each piece:

As a photographer who loves antiques, I have always been drawn to vintage photographs. I marvel at their survival and wonder about the lives behind the faces. My collection is eclectic – candids and posed, singles and families, silver and sepia – but the common thread is some expression of individuality.

As a writer, I find given names of interest, how and why they are so.  Many honor ancestors, traditions, or even qualities.  Consider Constance, Patience, Prudence and Temperance or Art, Frank, Norm and Will.  In times past girls especially were named with weighty ideals.  And boys whose names are followed with Roman numerals bear the burden of generations.  Names may be thrust upon us (and often welcome), but many of us change them at some point to a nick-, middle-, last-, pen-, respelled-, or brand-new name.  What's in a name?  Quite a lot!

As a papyrophile, I have been collecting art papers – especially Japanese, Indian and Italian – for nearly as long as old photographs. To me, the photographs are quite singular – monochromatic, one person in one place at one time – whereas the papers are quite the opposite : colorful, made by many people all over the world over years. This disparity – as well as those of Past vs. Present and Serious vs. Playful – could be jarring. And yet, somehow these various opposites attract and coalesce into something new, strong and,  I hope, intriguing … a “porTRAIT.”

What's your GIVEN name?    What name did you TAKE?    How many NAMES do you have?



2.6 x 6.2–inch Collage of Currency from U.S.A. & Zambia

Created by Sealy, Kate & Cella for Fundred Dollar Bill Project 2010

OK, here’s the recipe for “Gumbo Bill” : Take one arts-activist named Crystal Allene Cook [yeah, that’s right!] who told me @ the project [fundred.org].  Add one long-time friend named Kate Scurlock, who loves New Orleans as much as I do.  Stir in one mixer of a dog named Sealy D., who chewed up a $20 bill beyond bank redemption.

Take a piece of colorful currency from Zambia out of collage storage and cut it up to blend with Uncle Sam’s money.  Let simmer and stew in brain for a while … and see what develops.

* Gumbo combines many flavors … with love … without lead *