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Marco Barberio

Marco Barberio is from Lamézia, Calabria, Italy and was born in 1971. During his life, he has always cultivated a passion for art and creativity, even without attending specialized schools

Marco Barberio spent his adolescence in the 80s, painting with the myth of American graffiti and pop art. In the 90s he was in the middle of the digital revolution and the birth of the Internet.

Thanks to entrepreneurial intuition, the predisposition to new technologies and love for art, he founded a web company with the role of art director. In his US travels, he definitively consolidates the metropolitan subjects for his realistic paintings with references to pop icons.

In Marco Barberio's words...

I call my artistic process “sampled realism”.
The sampled realism is a way to translate an abstract idea, a state of mind of the real world and of everyday life, into an artistic representation, aiming to find a correct balancing between science and art.

Environments, metropolitan landscapes, streets and places are just opportunity to freeze the sigh of an instant, the perfect moment.

The urban landscapes into the pictorial “shots” are not just scenography, but moments of suspension, of losses of reference points. Spatiality as an element of the story is meant as an active agent of a tale. Are early stories, beginning of a movie, still images that narrate episodes within spaces defined by frames. Time is frozen and tension inert, while the action seems “off-screen”, in another world.

The pictorial is made, being in the digital age, with the technique of sampling. The classic example of sampling is given by the world of music: the sound wave of an instrument played live is perceived as a signal “continuous”. When a sound is “captured” digitally, occurs a sampling process where the information of that signal is stored with a certain frequency. In this way, the continuous analogue signal becomes a digital signal discontinuously, apparently with some shortcomings.

But this new digital signal, that can be stored in some way, is perceived exactly like the real analogue. In the digital era, much of the reality we live tends to be “sampled” and trapped in electronic devices. Similarly, in sampled realism the image is made with a process of simplification of the colours, a “sampling”. In this perspective, the colours are not mixed but become splashes, curves between which there are no shades. Just as it is in topography with the level curves, or in tomography, where the three-dimensional rendering of the body is given by samples in layers. The jump more or less evident between a curve and another hide an omission. It is a bit of a metaphor for the modern digital life. Every day we lose some pieces that we consider unimportant, with a glance of it you cannot notice this loss.

That’s why sampled realism: with an overview, the paintings seem to seek realism, but with a closer look, we notice all shortcomings marked by the sharp contrast between a curve and another.

Unlike hyperrealism that was marked by the maniacal details, in every way exaggerated, the sampled realism stands in contrast where it tends to deliberately leave out details and aims to lose information. These gaps represent not just the shortcomings of our lives, but at the same time give us the opportunity to build a new reality reformulated on our knowledge and experience.