Vesuvio Bakery by Randy Hage
Mixed Medium, 20″ x 19″ x 10.25″
160 Prince Street, New York, NY
Nunzio and Jennie Dapolito, immigrants from Naples, opened Vesuvio Bakery in 1920. That same year they had a son, Tony. As a boy, Tony delivered bread on a horse – drawn wagon. After his parents died, Anthony took over the business and ran it until his death at the age of 83. Mr. Depolito was a widely known community advocate, and the bakery served as a meeting spot.
The business was sold and while it sat unoccupied, with paper in the windows, many in the community began to protest against the possibility that the new owner would destroy their beloved, green storefront. The new owner has honored the desires of the locals and this iconic landmark storefront remains.
Current Exhibition at Flower Pepper Gallery:
- Solo Show: NYC Store Fronts by Randy Hage from May 19th to June 21st, 2012
Previous Exhibitions at Flower Pepper Gallery:
- Group Show: 3rd Year Anniversary Show from December 6th, 2014 to January 6th, 2015
- Group Show: Minuscule from May 3rd to June 6th, 2014
- Solo Show: Fleeting Moments – The Art of Randy Hage from October 5th to November 15th, 2013
Future Exhibition at Flower Pepper Gallery:
- Solo Show: October 10th – November 18th, 2015, Opening: Saturday, October 10th, 2015
The New York Times: Microeconomics: A City in Miniature by John Leland (It’s featured on The New York Times’ Sunday, Sep 29th, 2013 issue):
Interview by David Ono at ABC Channel 7 (Broadcasted on TV Friday, October 4th, 2013):
Video Interview by Daniel Rolnik:
Visual artist, Randy Hage, has always been fascinated by the character and often overlooked beauty of aging structures. In the late 90s, he began photographing the cast iron facades in the SoHo area of New York as possible subjects for future art projects (The cast iron and brick structure on this site is a product of that original research). His interest soon moved to the unique street level Mom & Pop storefronts with their hand painted signs, layers of architecture, wonderful patinas and intriguing history.
As he continued to photograph these storefronts, it became clear to him that this was becoming more than an art project; it was becoming a documentary project as well. These neighborhood storefronts were closing at an alarming rate, falling victim to large-scale redevelopment that was exceeding a normal pace for neighborhood change.
Hage’s work not only seeks to preserve a vision of the past, but also to call attention to the loss of established and diverse neighborhoods as urban renewal and gentrification displace the store owners and the area residents who make up the tapestry of these communities. Over the past 12 years, Hage has photographed more than 450 storefronts and in that time, more than 60% of those have closed or have been torn down.
Hage’s storefront project reflects a love for these iconic structures, as well as a passionate interest in the communities that they serve. His sculptures represent more than fading facades, they honor the very soul of the city, its people.
Randy Hage has been creating sets, models, and props for the TV/Film and small-scale hobby industries for over 25 years. He is a former instructor at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, where he taught set and prop fabrication.