Fasanella, Ralph(1914– ) painter, laborer; born in New York City. After many years as a union organizer for the United Electrical Workers, he took up painting in 1944; entirely self-taught, he began to gain some recognition for his primitivist/populist scenes of city life; to have more time for himself he switched to running a gas station. In his later work, such as The Iceman Crucified (1958), he tried more symbolism; but his simple city scenes were what kept his work and name alive.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.