A brush with family artistry

De Niro returns to his roots

ROME — An art show May 16 at the Benucci gallery offered an intimate glimpse intothe families of Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep, courtesy paintings by the late Robert De Niro Sr. and sculptures by Streep’s husband, Don Gummer.

The usually press-wary De Niro seemed at ease talking about his dad’s work. “I used to go see him when he had a studio in Soho — it is now so trendy, but it might have been Siberia at the time; there was nothing at all glamorous about it,” he said. “That was in the 1950s.”

Streep, meanwhile, said her husband’s sculptures reflect his own qualities of “optimism and rootedness,” but also portray “fluidity and musicality.”

When asked which artist he would like to portray in film, De Niro reverted to his usual cagey self. “I know if I did the life story of certain artists, my father would turn in his grave,” he said. “But I won’t say any more.”