Mythologies in Motion

January 2, 2015

Conquest of the West

Nicola Verlato, the painter who provided the cover image for our Fall 2014 issue, composes mythological scenes with material drawn from popular culture. Verlato’s approach recalls that of old masters such as Caravaggio and Tintoretto, but also integrates techniques from video game design and animation.

The process for creating one of his paintings involves sketching, modeling maquettes in clay (a method used by Renaissance painters), three-dimensional modeling using graphic software such as Maya, photographs of models striking the poses of the painting’s final figures, and a master drawing—and all of this before the first brushstroke. This video from Hi-Fructose Magazine, shows the artist at work in his studio. 

In an interview with ArtPulse Magazine, Verlato discusses his choice of subject matter: 

I’m just painting what excites my imagination. My work is about bodies and narrative and so forth, about mythologies, specifically mythologies of our time. I like to gather visual information about these phenomena and combine them together in a new and more complex kind of representation, a very finished painting in which all the information is organized in a coherent and structured way.

Despite the increasing dominance of digital media, Verlato sees an important role for painting: “I think that painting is still a very important medium, if not the most important, in art, and I also think that today painting could have the possibility of regenerating and enriching its potential with a strong alliance with digital technologies, 3D and the Internet.”

Nicola Verlato was born in Verona, Italy in February 1965. In these last years he showed principally in New York City and in various galleries and museums around the States, Italy, and Norway, but also in India as well as Germany, Holland, and other European countries. His major achievement has been his participation with an installation of paintings and sculptures as a representative of the Italian Pavillion at the 2009 Venice Biennale. Since 2011 Nicola Verlato lives and works in Los Angeles. To view more of Verlato’s work, visit