The Real Rocky

Rocky Marciano, by Andover artist Joe Gemellaro.
Rocky Marciano, by Andover artist Joe Gemellaro.

My friend Joe Gemellaro is one of the most talented artists I know. He has a knack for recreating the human form, especially faces. It is a gift he was born with.

Shown here is a study of a portrait Joe drew of Brockton native Rocky Marciano, heavyweight champion of the world from 1952 to 1956.  Joe donated prints of the final sketch to several charity groups, including the Haverhill Boys Club  which auctioned it off last year to raise money.

Watching Joe draw is a magical experience. Very quickly, over a matter of a few minutes, a face will start to emerge from the blank, white page. He says he always starts with the eyes, “because if you don’t get the eyes right, then nothing will be right.”

It’s uncanny, just how right he manages to get the eyes. In another framed portrait, all Joe drew was a single  eye. And when you look at it, you instantly recognize Mohammed Ali.

To order a print of Rocky or to see more of Joe’s work, contact the artist directly.

(Note: I’m filing this under “,” even though Rocky and Joe’s ancestry goes back to southern Italy. Hey, we’re all Italian. Can’t we all just get along?)