Nicola Verlato Italian, b. 1965

Nicola Verlato is a visual artist, musician and architect. 

Mr Verlato started to paint at the age of 7, selling his first paintings by the age of 9. His artistic education has been quite unorthodox: he considers himself almost self-taught, however, from ages 9 to 14, he spent every summer at the studio of monk-painter Fra’ Terenzio in a Franciscan monastery nearby his village in northeast Italy. Mr Verlato  considers that the place where he learned how to draw in the academic style. The artist held his first professional show at the age of 15 in the town hall of Lonigo, a three-person show in collaboration with two other artists of the area.

Mr Verlato has been also trained in classical music from the age of 9 (classic guitar, lute, piano and composition) at the conservatory in Verona. Later, he drove his attention toward rock music, playing electric guitar, bass, synths, composing songs, jingles, and soundtracks for documentaries. He also studied architecture at the Università Iuav di Venezia in Venice, where he lived for almost 13 years painting portraits and allegorical scenes for the local aristocracy and the affluent foreigners living in that city. During this period in Venice, Mr Verlato worked on almost everything that was connected with drawing: stage design, temporary decorations, illustrations, comics, and storyboards.

Around age 28, he started to be interested in contemporary art, and, consequentially, to show in numerous galleries in Italy and abroad in solo and group shows. After spending 7 years in Milan, where he created his well-grounded notoriety in Italy, the artist decided to move to New York City in 2004.

Specialising in fusing Americana, popular imagery, and traditional painting techniques, Mr Verlato is best known for his highly refined allegorical surrealism that recalls the murals of Thomas Hart Benton and the heightened drama of 17th-Century Italian baroque paintings. Featuring spectacular light effects, twisting nude figures, and dense compositions, Verlato’s work depicts a dark future that recalls a mythological past. 

His work has been exhibited in the United States, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, India, and Chile, among others. He participated with an installation of paintings and sculptures as a representative of the Italian Pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale.

Nicola Verlato currently lives and works between Los Angeles (CA) and Rome.