Nicola Verlato – Downtown – 08/14/2013

Nicola Verlato’s studio resides in an historic building that shares a lobby with The Last Bookstore on Spring street, part of the Historic Core of downtown Los Angeles.   Now known as the Spring Arts Tower; the building houses over 100 artists, designers, and creative companies including CB1 Gallery, Spring Arts Collective, and Psychic Bunny.  Tucked way up inside the cavernous halls, we found Verlato busy painting a new series for upcoming exhibitions.   The exquisitely rendered figurative style that Verlato has mastered lends well to iconic imagery.  The most impressive in the studio was the larger than life painting of Madonna (the pop star) slaying Madonna (the mother of Jesus Christ) in reference to Judith Slaying Holofernes.  This painting addresses the cultural shift of Madonna (the pop star) becoming more widely held than Madonna, a.k.a. the Virgin Mary, as demonstrated on search engines such as Google.   Verlato is also designing site-specific monumental artworks which include architecture, sculpture and painting (and even music) as tributes to legendary musicians like Robert Johnson, Michael Jackson and poet/filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini.   These plans are reminiscent of his Italian heritage, where art is evident on every street corner, a way of life more than a commodity.