Painter Marco Verrelli portrays the modern, technological face of Rome. By Federico Schiaffino
To the pompous allure of the ancient and dignified city, Marco Verrelli – Roman painter, acute observer of his own time – prefers the urban atmospheres and peripheral landscapes of the modern age: the principal component of his paintings, characterised by suggestive iridescent effects of light and a particular stress on tonality, is in fact contemporary Rome, the “extra moenia” metropolis (outside the walls) which reveals its most modern aspects in the technological details of train stations, the junctions at flyovers, and parts of Rome’s ring road (the “raccordo anulare”).
Thus the focal point is shifted to these new monuments, which have finally won a leading role in the daily scenario. Their existence is permeated with an indescribable sense of mystery and a dreamlike, almost metaphysical aura, the suspended silences surrounding them broken only by the quick pace of some rare human presence. From a stylistic point of view, a reference to Hopper and Hyper-Realism is evident, with the sharp outlines and distinct shapes that make up the composition and the attention paid to how the light changes throughout the day.
The painter’s favourite setting seems to be the evening and early morning hours just before dawn, perfect for the artist’s subjects. By raising a curtain on a reality that seems unusual because it so infrequently represented, Verrelli verifies both the possibility of a pictorial transposition and a way of interpreting this reality. The result is a suggestive Roman itinerary that winds through a secret city whose mysterious and invisible charm is rarely noticed since our eyes are blinded by everyday indifference and cultural prejudices, giving ground to the conformism of common places and hostility towards new forms. Instead, Marco Verrelli offers us a different point of view and leads us through the twenty-first century city which finally proves itself to be a modern metropolis.