Twenty years ago, Charles Fazzino and his cousin Al Faro opened the 3D Studio Gallery in Santa Barbara. It was an improbable little place, not the metropolitan art mecca of New York or San Francisco, and galleries were known to come and go from State Street almost as quickly as passing tourists. Two decades later, the gallery still stands, and Fazzino himself will be there for a special reception honoring the gallery’s continued success.
According to Fazzino, the crosscurrent of international visitors to S.B. is one of the main reasons for his gallery’s longevity. “We have a lot of travelers. You’re not showing the work only to California; you’re showing it to the world — everybody comes through here,” he said. Fazzino’s biggest following is in European and Asian markets, in fact. “I think the Europeans and Asians look at my artwork and see America. Believe it or not, many people around the world love Americans and love American art and really identify with it.”
Of course the gallery would not be such a draw were it not for the utter individuality of his work. Fazzino’s pop art really pops: His silk-screen prints are hand-cut with an X-Acto knife and composed of multiple layers, with embellishment like Swarovski crystals or glitter also meticulously placed by hand. “People tell me my work is so different than anything they see,” he said. “I’ve been doing this since 1981, and people still tell me my work is cool, unique, and unusual.”
Charles Fazzino and the 3D Studio Gallery (529 State St.) will celebrate 20 years on Saturday, August 27, 2-5 p.m. For more information, call (805) 730-9109 or visit fazzino.com.