Giving film posters a new life and function – Nello Petrucci

“My artworks strive to project an alternate sense of reality which is not solely based on what is visible, but another reality projected by allowing my subconscious to freely express itself.”

For Nello Petrucci, newspaper clippings, photographs, and film posters are the starting point of a multi-layered world. His works bring collage and painting together in unique fashion and the artist draws inspiration from his professional life and studies, as well as the rich cultural heritage of his native Italy. The results are works that allow the viewer to become an active participant in its meaning.

Nello Petrucci working in his studio

How did you discover your use of or preference for collage?

I have not had a defined preference; many things appear in your destiny without foreseeing it.
During my studies in Rome, I was renting houses and I did not have much money to buy paintings or things like that, so the most economical and beautiful thing, and at the same time interesting to hang, were the movie posters. I collected them and, without knowing it at first, I had so much material in front of my eyes. So I started using them. That’s how my artistic research was born.

Nello Petrucci with artist and Agora Gallery staff
Nello Petrucci (center), during an opening reception at Agora Gallery with fellow artist Michael Dolen, Gallery Director Eleni Cocordas, and Assistant Director Anna Lustberg.

What is your greatest inspiration for creating your works?

I think of something that has a very nice visual impact because I believe that in a work, in addition to thought, beauty is always fundamental, but, at the same time, it brings out a great thought, without any frills.

What is your artistic process? How do you start creating your own collages?

It is very complicated to explain my process, although it seems simple and natural. I compose the pieces, I join them like a puzzle, creating the world of connections, joined together. It is not easy enough to combine small emotions. It starts with a mental process I already have and I find my inspiration when everything is harmonious. Then, the work finds its own way.

How did mathematics and astrophysics affect your artistic process?

“Mathematics is the alphabet in which God wrote the universe” –Galileo Galilei

I’m neither a mathematician, nor an astrophysicist, but this intrigues me a lot.
So, I love to know my predecessors, especially the thinkers, the people who have really changed humankind’s thinking, those who have changed the way we look at things, especially Galileo Galilei. Things are united by invisible bonds. You can not catch a flower without disturbing a star. Mathematics has a certain importance in the creation of the universe and, therefore, has much to do with the humankind and, consequently, with art in general.

There is a lot of symbolism in your collages. Can you talk about it a bit?

The boundary between what the eyes see and what the soul perceives is one of the most interesting things that an artist can give to the spectator or the world. The symbols are important and fundamental in my work.

Nello Petrucci at Agora Gallery
Nello Petrucci’s works at Agora Gallery

After your exhibition at the Agora Gallery, where will we see your works?

I’m working on a big project in New York, but it’s not official yet, let’s wait a bit. Also, in Italy, in Pompeii, around September there will be a great exhibition on Pompeii and the thought of ancient Pompeian painters, who are very important for me. A new challenge awaits me.

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You can learn more about Nello Petrucci’s process on his Artist Profile. His artworks are part of Agora Gallery‘s group exhibition, From Italy with Love, presented in partnership with Contemply Agency, Florence, Italy.


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