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During the times of the pandemic, contexts and environments have changed. Isolation has created distance between individuals and disconnected us from nature’s rhythm and flow. Giulio Catelli dives deep into our segregated reality, before resurfacing bringing with him a world made of beatuiful narratives and domestic mindscapes.

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Born and raised in Rome, Giulio Catelli is becoming a more and more influential figure in today’s artistic panorama, creating awareness about nature’s complexity, beauty and majesty. Graduated in Artistic-Historical studies at the Sapienza University in Rome, and furthermore Post-Graduated in Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, in Macerata, Catelli has focused his attention towards the dialogues and relations that intertwine in the urban landscapes, to which the artist was subject to throughout his upbringing. In his earlier works, Giulio Catelli’s eyes, mind and brush strokes look into columns, arcades and hollows, bending them and softly distorting their perspectives, creating a feeling of a dreamy and ethyl hypnosis, allowing an ancient and eternal aesthetic to combine with a more contemporary and hallucinatory point of view. 


Giulio Catelli, Al Treia, 2019. Oil on canvas.


During this past year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences of living segregated in a domestic and calm, yet sterile and counterproductive setting, Catelli has enacted a change of focus towards those intimate surroundings we are all subject to when in the warmth of our homes. Therefore, the artist was enabled to create a series of paintings, now on show at Richter Gallery in Rome, in which his attention is pointed towards what could be described as “domestic” landscapes. Sofas, colourful fabric patterns and carpets, become details of an elaborated landscape, modulating layers and perspectives while resembling the courses of ditches and hills. More in depth, the artist was enabled to look into the element of the body, specifically his own and the one of his partner Andrea, creating a series of what Catelli himself describes as “double portraits”, a definition that the artist also decided to use as the title for the aforementioned exhibition. 


Giulio Catelli, A e Miki, 2019. Oil on canvas


"The reason for the title that gives life to the exhibition is very simple - explains the artist- it all begins with a painting, not a big one, in which I self-portraited myself with Andrea, my partner. It seems like an achievement to me and I thought it right to start from this painting. I'm interested in the idea of ​​being able to transfer feelings and experiences into painting".

Both the bodies of the artist and his partner, and the elements cohabitating the domestic space, create feelings of mutual connections and shared symphonic acts, all of which are communicated by the artist using his own visual language; a mature combination of Catelli’s highly personal gesture and a clear and clever referential approach to the past. The viewer finds himself willing to give in a part of his own experience, using it to complete the narratives that the artist puts before him, freely combining the elements to create an intimate and inedited story.  


Giulio Catelli, “Double Portrait” at Richter Gallery, Rome. Open from February 11th 2021.


Times of isolation and domestic segregation, force us to look into ourselves and get in touch with our innermost features, experiences and memories, creating new pathways and mindscapes for artists to dive into and search for beauty. Times of dismay and absence of stimuli often serve as fuel for the outburst of the expressive flow.


Giulio Catelli, Andrea, 2020. Oil on canvas.



Cover image: Giulio Catelli, Self-Portrait with Andrea , 2020. Oil on canvas.

Written by Mario Silva

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