Nicola Verlato (born February 19, 1965 in Verona) is an Italian-American visual artist now based in Los Angeles. He started to paint at a very early age after the first time he saw Caravaggio. He spent every summer, since he was 9 years old, at the studio of a monk-painter where he learned the academic style. Nicola has been also trained in classical music, later he drove his attention toward rock music. He also studied architecture at the university of Venice but never graduated. Around 28 he started to be interested in contemporary art, and, consequentially, to show in numerous gallery in Italy and abroad in solo and group shows. After spending 7 years in Milan, in 2004 decided to move to NY city. Since 2011 he lives and works in Los Angeles.
The distinctive trait of Verlato is the weird world that he creates putting together an ancient painting style (Michelangelo, Raffaello, ect..) and a contemporary imagery. Most of his characters seems to be inspired by the macabres Caravaggio’s selfportraits, showing faces screaming of horror and bodies falling down.
I’m constantly focused on using myself as a tool to have these visions translated into paintings. Everything I see or hear becomes an opportunity; news on the radio, songs, interviews, videos or movies, they all potentially activate, combining my mood of the day with the different information I’m receiving through the media and through reality, these visions I use to create paintings. I don’t care about reality itself; I’m interested in the way we perceive it and manipulate it through models and representations (ARTWRIT)
As the artist says in an interview for the italian television (Rai) his aim is to formalize the popular culture in the manner of classical art. What he does is to find a way to “provoke emotional reactions in virtually everyone” and he pursue this purpose using non-linear narrative structures, but complex and layered ones so that the viewer needs to stop and come back as he wants inside the painting.
L.A. GALLERY: Merry Karnowsky
Verlato’s work has shown internationally in venues such as the Venice Biennale, Prague Biennale, Sandretto re Rebaudengo foundation in Turin, MART in Rovereto, Victoria Memorial Hall Calcutta, and in numerous spaces in Italy, Germany, Norway, Holland, and the United States. His work has been featured in publications including Flash Art, Juxtapoz, Hi Fructose, Lodown, XL, Vogue Italy, Marie Claire, and Art in America.