Nicola Verlato Italian, b. 1965

Nicola Verlato is a visual artist, musician and architect.
Nicola started painting at the age of 7 and sold his first piece at the age of 9. His artistic training was rather unorthodox: he considers himself almost self-taught, but from the age of 9 to 14 he spent every summer in the studio of the monk-painter Fra' Terenzio in a Franciscan monastery near his village in north-eastern Italy. Nicola considers this to be the place where he learnt to draw in an academic style. The artist held his first professional exhibition at the age of 15 in the town hall of Lonigo, a three-person show in collaboration with two other artists from the area.
Nicola also studied classical music from the age of 9 (classical guitar, lute, piano and composition) at the Verona Conservatory. Later he turned his attention to rock music, playing electric guitar, bass, synthesizers, 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 wealthy foreigners living in the city. During this period in Venice, the artist worked on almost everything that had to do with drawing: stage designs, temporary decorations, illustrations, comics and storyboards.
At the age of 28, he began to take an interest in contemporary art and consequently exhibited in numerous galleries in Italy and abroad, in solo and group exhibitions. After spending 7 years in Milan, where he became well known in Italy, the artist decided to move to New York City in 2004.
Specialising in the fusion of Americana, popular imagery and traditional painting techniques, Nicola 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 painting. With spectacular light effects, twisting nudes 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. He represented the Italian Pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale with an installation of paintings and sculptures. In 2013 he published his first artist book in the United States, titled From Verona With Rage.
Nicola Verlato currently lives and works in Los Angeles (CA) and Rome.