The artist’s physical manipulation reveals the deepest intensity of his Baroque-inspired paintings

Classical Baroque styles of dark, dreary paintings combined with contemporary horror imagery. This is the very serious game that Nicola Samorì plays with his paintings. He intensifies the emotion and drama by mutilating his subjects. And he is one of the most innovative and recognized voices in the international art scene.

Born in Forlì in 1977, Samorì attended art school and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. He currently lives and works in Bagnacavallo (Ravenna), Italy. He began painting when he was four and never stopped. His work stems from fear: fear of the body, of death, of men.

His modern interpretations of 17th-century European artworks give a new meaning to the originals. His work is generally described as dark and baroque-inspired. He creates skillful reproductions of classical portraits and still lifes on canvas, wood, or copper. But this is only the first part of his artwork. 

He subsequently proceeds to ‘damage’ them by scraping, burning, diluting, engraving, slashing, and tearing.

He often ‘skins’ his painted figures with a palette knife or diluent and layers another image on top. This process goes on until signs of deleting and scratching dominate the reworked surface. Samorì believes that exposing the inside of the paint by removing some of its layers reveals “a freshness and an intensity unknown in the outer tones.”

With his violent gestures reveals fear as the leading force that permeates his art. As he put it: “A sort of an exorcism to take away something from you or give form to whatever you do not want to live. What is shown in my work is what I have escaped.” With a similar aesthetic, destroying the image of the body to elicit feelings of unease, he also creates impressive sculptures.

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