Review by: Janel Spiegel
Art Exhibition Featuring Artwork by Dylan Collazo
Allentown Arts Walk
21 N. 7th Street, Allentown, PA
Presented by: Collazo Studio
“Dylan Collazo is a self-taught contemporary artist painting visual narratives that delve into the human psyche using relevant cultural, historical references, and symbolism in his style of portraiture. Collazo uses his art to tie the human experience to the individual experience and vice versa, using his own complex journey as the anchor and foundation for the images, scenery, and symbolism found in the work.” From Born Mafiusu
What a night. So, I wound up wandering around as usual after attending the Allentown Christmas Tree lighting, and I needed to get to the PPL Center for the WWE Holiday Tour Event, that I’m covering for The Valley Ledger. I decided as usual to take the scenic route, and wound up at Allentown Arts Walk. I stopped in front of a beautifully lit storefront with flowers covering the outside of the building, and inside were some of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL paintings, I have ever seen.
It instantly took me to my childhood, to New York City, and just some of the amazing adventures I have been on so far in life. I walked in, of course. I wanted to find out what was happening. The only way you will find out, is if you ask, and of course, I’m going to ask. I walked inside and instantly felt warmth, beauty, love, peace, darkness but in a healing kind of way. I looked around at the incredible paintings on the wall and the couch set up with The Godfather (1972), written by Mario Puzo, and turned into a film by Francis Ford Coppola. It’s one of my favorite films.
I walked around while the artist Dylan Collazo was enthusiastically talking to two ladies about his work. I later found out he worked with them. I didn’t want to interrupt his conversation so, I continued to walk around. I looked at some of the paintings which included: “Padrino’s Dilemma”, an incredible portrait of Al Pacino from The Godfather III.
“The Initiation”, “Real Soprano,” which is such an incredible painting of James Gandolfini who portrayed Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, one of the greatest shows ever made. James Gandolfini could perform an entire scene and just show his eyes, and you felt every emotion, every intent that he put into that character.
“Gabagool & Omerta” is an amazing painting with actor Vincent Pastore who also starred on The Sopranos alongside James Gandolfini. They are featured together in the painting. “Like Sonny in The Park,” I must say if one of my favorite paintings I saw tonight. I was able to meet actor, writer, producer, playwright, is there anything Chazz Palminteri doesn’t do!!! Chazz Palminteri wrote A Bronx Tale (1993) based on his own life story. If you haven’t seen the film, go watch it.
It stars Robert DeNiro, Taral Hicks, Francis Capra, Joe Pesci, The AMAZING beyond AMAZING, Katherine Narducci, who also appeared on The Sopranos as Charmaine Bucco, Artie’s wife. Robert DeNiro directed A Bronx Tale. It’s become one of those films that sticks with you forever. The phrases, the music, the whole soundtrack is perfection. It touched on a lot of controversy. It also showed the depiction of how certain were treated. Imagine if we lived in a world where people just saw one another. We just saw people.
Dylan has a complete playlist playing for the paintings. It’s incredible. I have never been to such an immersive, intense but beautiful art exhibition. I felt like I was going back in time. He features Allentown, which is his hometown, and the exhibition is dedicated to his uncle who sadly, passed away. (We say Zio but we are alike.) He included Dion & The Belmonts, The Cleftones, Mel Torme, Cream, Dean Martin, Franki Valli, Cool Change, The Flamingos, Nat “King” Cole, Frank Sinatra, War, Fats Domino, Tony Bennett, and more.
Some of the other paintings include a painting of Robert DeNiro in Casino. “Pure Amusement” is the late great Ray Liotta and the incredible Joe Pesci in one the best scenes ever from Goodfellas (1990). “Paulie” portrayed by the brilliant Paul Sorvino. He portrayed Paulie in Goodfellas, and if you know about Paulie, you know this, “Paulie might have moved slow, but it was only because Paulie didn’t have to move for nobody.” One of the best lines delivered by Ray Liotta portraying Henry Hill.
“Anello” is Robert DeNiro and Francis Capra from A Bronx Tale. “Wiseguys” is Director extraordinaire Martin Scorsese and his Goodfellas with his real-life mother.
“Allentown Renaissance” is on display. The opening night performance was by Isaiah B Kyng. Kyng is an emerging actor in the Lehigh Valley.
The Heart of the City also features photographer Adrian Adan, Cinematographer/Photographer, Justin A. Little, and Photographer Devin Ford. Opening night was November 25, 2023, and the display is still going. I highly recommend visiting this exhibition. I recommend talking to Dylan. This exhibit takes you back in time, and brings you into now. It’s such an incredible exhibit. I was able to speak with Dylan for a while, and he’s good people. A good soul who is working hard along with his wife. Go “Make him an offer he can’t refuse,” and buy some of his amazing artwork.