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Valerio Picariello


The Art of Valerio Picariello



Vital Everyday Contemporaneity



Barely sketched urban architectures, drawn by a tense, thick and highly tactile writing  - often grim – are the background of streets crossed by restless characters – extremely expressive – who plough the chromatic waves, dissolve and get mixed up in an harmoniously balanced environment, thus increasing a powerful idea of movement. This is a visible movement, prompted by skilfully laid on and disordered sketches of colour, which powerfully convey the vitality, the anxiety, the mental and physical disorder and the need for space, air, life and survival in the city.

We do not feel, however, any kind of distress in Picariello’s crowd: it is everyday life - shopping, a stroll with the dog, a rush to the office, a chat during a chance meeting, advances, business, a break at the bar – all perceived not through a visual reading of images, but through the eyes of the mind – in a process of multiple sensations which are elaborated by looking at the shapes, the signs, the spaces and the shadows of these paintings.


In these metropolitan images, Valerio Picariello enhances the abstraction of his painting with a frantic chromatic amalgam and with never-defined characters and faces – especially the masculine ones. He is a master of the shadows, of floating souls dematerialized from every kind of physicalness.


Physicalness, though, is always present when the subject of his composition are women: they are never sketched, but conveyed with fluid brush-strokes and solid materiality – made up of   a mellow colouring and a gentle prominence of shapes. The necessity of this greater definition of female characters comes from the need to convey a more prominent carnality. Undressed or scantily dressed, generous bodies and soft gluteus, quiet and relaxed in their gestural expressiveness, we  do not perceive these women as detached and unreachable, but as discretely approachable and joyfully sensual. Close to them, we do often perceive a male presence: in a shadow reflected by a mirror, or a shaded shoulder, or barely perceptible in the background – a presence emblematic of an ill-concealed autobiographic voyeurism.

More delicate and imaginative are the female nudes, with their subtle and intriguing charm., painted in watercolour or tempera. Picariello has always been a very good watercolour and tempera painter, and likes to alternate delicate sepia monochromes to shining compositions with a shaded and delicate polychromy.

In the oil paintings – besides the images of city life and the female nudes we have mentioned above – there are interesting and almost expressionist representations of interiors, crowded, chaotic and convulsive. Such representations show vibrant chromatic clashes and are dominated by a dizziness of different shades of red, orange and violet: theatre dressing rooms with female dancers, bars with customers and taverns with card-players and drinkers. A heavy tone of colour alters the characters’ faces, soaking them, almost dissolving them and stressing their expressive strength – though with a simplifying of shapes. In these paintings, barely sketched characters and unpainted portions of the base support suggest a quick and intuitive rendering, to the advantage of a balanced pictorial framework where the constituent lines arise from the intersection of different areas of colour.



Gian Carlo Sbardella


[Trad. Arianna Cantoni]



Valerio Picariello


Was born in Bologna in 1948, lives and works at Casalecchio of Reno, studied a classic curriculum  and frequented the academy of arts.

His artistic endeavor began as water-colourist in the early 1970, his work was shown in various galleries, in Bologna, Brescia, Milan and had exposed his work of art collectively with other Italian and foreign artists ( in 1986 in Bologna for Dimensione Art with Gattuso, Cantatore, Gentilini, Sassu, Chagall, De Chirico, Miro. Again In Bologna in 1986 for Artespaziodieci with Ungania, Bignani, Engel, Speroni. In 1987 for Dimensione Art showed his work with other artists of such magnitude as  Salvador Dali and Nkde Amedokpo), always with a positive response emanating from the “freshness of his designs” and from the transparent bright images of the chromatic gamut of his art work.

His latest art showing was in 1998 for the gallery of Castiglione Art located in Bologna. His unfortunate personal life has caused a separation for several years from painting and from the art market. He resumed painting after the year 2000 and left water-colour temporarily, a technique which he has an immense talent; he immersed himself in oil painting technique with exquisite and vibrant dense and intense colors, impregnated with light and filled with figures and “shadows”, deviating from his  prior illustrations and re-establishing himself with greater expressive strength.

From the beginning of 2006 Valerio Picariello begins a re-interpretation of the Passion of Christ; he is inspired from past masters for his scenic depiction, but transforming those images in vibrant colors animated with desolate ugliness, or as in Christ and the Virgin Mary, filled with sorrow and suffering, cognoscent of the knowledge  that they should resign themselves to the fate of the  Devine design. The protagonists of his poetic paintings are the lack of realistic chromatism and the obsessive perception, of the drama that has yet to unfold

In these works of art, the multitude of human figures are simply depicted in a manner comprising deformity in both facial expression and contorted bodies, while retaining the well composed suffering images of the Nazarene and the visible painful affliction of Mary. Additionaly, his images explode in a detailed expression of human bodies, visibly agitated in a convulsive state of sorrowful bitter mysticism, expressed in an immediate impact of images, executed with suffering, but never in a pitiful manner.


Gian Carlo Sbardella                                                       www.arsbononia.it



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