Old Neighborhood, 1980
Oil on Canvas, Collection of Dorothy and Philip Zaro
Fasanella shows the buildings and streets of his old Bronx neighborhood teeming with activity. Peopled, as always, by family and friends from all periods of the artist’s life, the painting includes a group of uniformed kids warming up before heading off to the ballpark. There are also vignettes of people playing cards, shooting craps, pushing baby carriages, and generally enjoying a beautiful day. At the center is Joe Fasanella’s ice wagon, where the elder Fasanella chops a block of ice while his son Ralph wistfully watches the boys playing baseball. Old Neighborhood celebrates community in an image free of political allusions or references to the outside world. In this regard, Old Neighborhood is one of the few paintings where Fasanella’s most frequent categorization of being an “urban Grandma Moses” is appropriate.