Born in Verona, Italy, Nicola Verlato is an Italian-American realist painter living and working in Los Angeles, California. Verlato meticulously employs classical perspective and composition techniques by calling upon the master works of Michelangelo and Caravaggio, Botticelli and Rubens, Andrea del Sarto, Bellini, Durer and Grunewald. Although Verlato is influenced by these Renaissance masters, his imagery is contemporary. Gravity, movement and—as the artist himself describes—the feeling of general collapse in the world today are emergent themes in the work. Verlato has developed a specific creative practice to ensure his canvases are visually activated and effectively portraying the flash of chaotic change:
“I use several tools to help the elaboration of the composition; a deliberate sequence. After I decide the general composition of a painting by making hundreds of sketches from my imagination, I start working with models in plasticine and/or 3D programs. This way I'm able to transform the two-dimensional sketches into three-dimensional models that allow me to control perspective, lights and shadows. [This process] gives me a chance to refine the composition in three dimensions. After this passage, I take photos from real people in order to get more visual information.”
In addition to the colorful oil on canvas pieces, this exhibition includes numerous studies in pencil, graphite, acrylic and ink on paper as examples of how Verlato utilized his method to prepare for composing and painting the Car Crash series. Verlato moved fairly recently to Southern California from New York. Through this new body of work he cites Los Angeles as the perfect place for referencing popular culture while identifying with a strong group of like-minded artists working on similar ideas and issues about the human condition.
Second Floor | Wells Fargo Gallery