Marco Barberio, born in 1971 in Italy, has consistently nurtured a profound passion for art and creativity throughout his life, despite the absence of formal artistic education. During his formative years in the 1980s, he immersed himself in the captivating realm of American graffiti and pop art, passionately honing his painting skills. As the 1990s unfolded, he found himself situated at the crossroads of the digital revolution and the inception of the Internet, bearing witness to these transformative forces. Drawing upon his entrepreneurial instincts, technological aptitude, and unwavering adoration for art, he embarked on the establishment of a web company, assuming the pivotal role of art director. It was during his journeys across the United States that he definitively solidified his artistic repertoire, deftly incorporating metropolitan subjects into his realistic paintings, complemented by allusions to iconic figures from popular culture.
Artrepreneur: What role does experimentation play in your artistic process?
While I perceive that I have achieved a level of satisfaction in terms of technical prowess and the resulting culmination, it is imperative to acknowledge my unwavering pursuit of novelty. Henceforth, my artistic experimentation remains ceaseless, be it through the lens of technical finesse or the thematic realms I traverse. Concerning technique, my unyielding quest bestows upon me expedited mastery, yielding superior outcomes. Conversely, the themes I dare to explore unveil uncharted realms and alternative linguistic expressions.
Marco Barberio: Can you tell us about your creative process from ideation to completion?
I call my artistic process “sampled realism”. “Realism” because I am a realist artist and as such I paint scenes of everyday life, scenes from my time. “Sampled” because, being in the digital age, I do a sampling of colors, as happens in music that is sampled to be stored into a digital device.In this perspective, the colours in my paintings are not mixed but become splashes, curves between which there are no shades. The jump more or less evident between a curve and another hide an omission. Simple spots of colors in my paintings become human figures, windows, cars thanks to our brain which, given our experience, reconstructs the images.
In my artistic process, I embark upon a journey from the inception of a photograph, capturing fleeting moments that already bear the mark of my brushstrokes. However, the photo itself undergoes a transformative treatment through a bespoke software I have meticulously crafted. This intricate process dissects the image into a select palette of colors, carefully curated to capture the essence of my vision. Once I have achieved a profound sense of satisfaction, I harness these colors to craft an ensemble of intricate stencils, each possessing its own unique purpose. These meticulously fashioned stencils become the conduits through which I bring forth the entire tableau. A singular painting often demands the deployment of countless stencils, a testament to the intricacy and dedication I invest in my artistic endeavors.
ATP: Are there any recurring themes or motifs in your artwork? What draws you to explore these subjects repeatedly?
As an artist of realism, my brush unveils the tapestry of everyday life, capturing the very essence of my era. In leaving behind a trail of artistic imprints, I bear witness to my fleeting existence. The core objective lies in seizing the pulsating life force of the city, coursing through the bustling streets and the multitude of souls traversing their paths. Our destinies intertwine, interweaving their trajectories and mutually shaping their course. Within my paintings, I unfurl the prologue of an untold narrative, gifting the beholder the unparalleled liberty to envisage the subsequent chapters, drawing from the depths of their own encounters. Thus, it is no surprise that my oeuvre exalts metropolitan landscapes, resonating with the cacophony of crowded streets, where both humanity and machinery dance in harmonious chaos—a vivid portrayal of authentic urban existence.
MB: What is the role of technique in your art? How do you balance technical skill with expressive freedom?
Within the realm of my artistic expression, technique reigns supreme, serving as the cornerstone for what I refer to as “sampling reality.” Inextricably entwined with the digital age that permeates our existence, a meticulous devotion to technical precision becomes paramount. My creative journey is an amalgamation of years immersed in the study of intertwining my prowess in coding with the finesse of painting. It is through this harmonious union that I have harnessed the ability to craft a captivating symphony of visual composition.
Yet, it is imperative to transcend the confines of mere calculations. The essence of creativity manifests from the inception, meticulously curating the photographic composition. It then seamlessly traverses into the realm of digital manipulation, where creativity unveils its duality, evoking artistic genius in both the intricate dance of code and the meticulous “handcrafting” of images. And, in the final culmination, brushstrokes merge passionately on the canvas, bestowing the definitive balance that imparts a new dimension to the artwork.
ATP: How do you strike a balance between realism and abstraction in your paintings? What drives your stylistic choices?
MB: Sampled realism serves as a conduit for translating abstract concepts and the intricacies of daily existence into a visual representation, seeking a delicate equilibrium between science and art. Within this pursuit, I am driven by two compelling forces that guide my brush: the first embodies a marked realism, while the other propels me towards a more conceptually simplified portrayal.
My entire body of work reflects the profound duality encapsulated within these forces. The gradients of color, akin to contour lines on a map, hold profound significance. This is where the essence of “sampled realism” emerges. Upon initial observation, one may perceive an almost tangible realism within my paintings. Yet, upon closer scrutiny, the discerning eye can discern the gaps delineated by varying hues amidst the contours. Symbolically, it mirrors the fabric of our modern digital existence. Day by day, fragments slip away unnoticed, seemingly inconsequential. These gaps not only represent the shortcomings of our lives but simultaneously offer an opportunity to construct a new reality, reimagined through the prism of our knowledge and experiences.
Discovering the elusive equilibrium between these two forces is the very essence of my existence! Words alone fail to capture the enigmatic process that unfolds, leaving it to the discerning eye to ascertain. It transcends mere explanation and resides within the realm of sensation, an instinct honed through the crucible of life’s daily encounters.
To view more of Marco’s work please visit his Artrepreneur profile.