Ralph Fasanella

I may paint flat, but I don't think flat - Ralph Fasanella

 About the Artist 

Ralph Fasanella was born on Labor Day in 1914 and died on December 16, 1997. He worked in machine shops and dress shops, drove trucks, pumped gas and organized workers for higher wages and a better life. One of Fasanella’s most monumental paintings portrays the 1912 Lawrence textile strike where tens of thousands of workers marched for “Bread and Roses” a life with decent wages and time to rest and reflect.  Whether depicting laborers at home, at work, in luncheonettes, union halls, or on vacation, Ralph Fasanella painted the beauty and the dignity of their lives.

After dropping out of school to work on his father’s ice truck, Fasanella became a voracious reader and a life-long devotee of public libraries.  A political activist and fervent believer that we all have a duty to make the world a better place for future generations, his life of activism lives on through his art.

Though he was self-taught, Fasanella rejected the labels of “primitive,” “naïve,” or even “folk artist.” Painting until the wee hours of the morning to the tunes of John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Dexter Gordon, and the best of Italian Opera, Fasanella described himself as a people’s artist.  He is quoted as saying he painted from his belly and he urged aspiring artists to reject pretention, instead to be authentic, to paint what they knew from life experience, and the legacy of where they came from.  Fasanella exhorted us all to remember our history and be proud of our heritage…“Lest We Forget.”

The Estate of Ralph Fasanella retains the copyright to images of his art. For permission to reproduce his paintings, contact the estate at www.fasanella.org.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of products featuring works in the Ralph Fasanella collection is paid back to the artist's estate and or charitable causes.

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