Dan Finaldi is a figure painter, something he was told in art school he could not be.
“I think it’s the strangest thing that Abstract Expressionism led to this,” Finaldi says, speaking of “Capturing Life in the Studio,” his show at the Edward Williams Gallery on the Hackensack campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University.
The show consists of seven large oils painted at Freehold High School, where Finaldi has been a teacher for 14 years. Each one is a portrait, some featuring groups of students and some just one or two students posing for their teacher.
The portraits are formal, restrained, and turned out in bright colors. The students pose in the school’s studio and culinary arts kitchen, and at the entrance to an indoor basketball court. Mostly they sit and look at their painter, or