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Italian born artist Nicola Verlato creates paintings deeply rooted in the Renaissance painting tradition. He began drawing and painting at an early age, and begged his parents to teach him how to paint like the great Italian masters. When he was 9 a client of his family’s winery mentioned Fra Terenzio, a monk who taught people how to paint in his studio in the Franciscan monastery a few miles away. He spent 5 summers there, learning the techniques that would turn his future works into stunning explorations in lighting, skin tone, poses, and texture. .Txt Verlato daringly combines techniques and skills borrowed from the old masters with themes more pop culture than Raphael. Regardless of the stew of pop-culture sign-posts found in his work, ranging from Disney to rock ‘n’ roll, to movie stars, comics and pornography, his central argument — that nothing evokes an emotional reaction more than the human form — is borne out by his highly dramatic tableaus. Verlato’s engrossing paintings manifest ample technical skill, but more importantly, they draw us in and ask us to consider the meaning of it all.Txt
In a fascinating blend of chemistry and sculpture, artist Mariele Neudecker builds three dimensional images contained within large aquariums, an ongoing series she refers to as “Tank Works.” Starting with source materials that include romantic paintings and photographs, Neudecker creates environments that attempt to interpret the 2D imagery in three dimensional space. The representational pieces are contained entirely within glass tanks filled to the brim with water that also contain fiberglass mountains, model ships, and other sculptural objects. She also adds chemicals that provide an element of atmosphere while also forming a sort of contained climate that changes gradually over the course of days, weeks, and months.
While primarily a sculptor Neudecker also works with film, video, and installation, much more of which you can see on her website. She discuss her tank works a bit more in this 2009 interview with CAFKATV.