When the MILIEU editors first came upon artworks by the Italian artist Mirco Marchelli, they were haunted by his shapes and forms that he renders on canvas. Half circles, arcs, squares, zig-zags, rectangles, diagonals, diamonds, and various amorphous forms appear to meld, yet each remains distinct. Some of his canvases even assume their own shape, as portions of completed works are affixed to others to create assemblages. Look closely at his canvases and you even detect the expression of a kind of pentimento, the technique through which prior images or brushstrokes appear to have been painted over and left ghosted; what once was remains, even beneath thick layers of paint he applies, akin to impasto. In that sense, his paintings become three-dimensional works, the colors and forms set in relief. Marchelli, who lives and works in Italy, is an artist who might be considered both a minimalist and a realist. While his completed works are not at all figurative or realistic in nature, the shapes he uses and assembles are very much found in the everyday world. Yet only he knows how to juxtapose them so that they become new forms. There is a pronounced rhythm to his art. A viewer’s eye follows his lines and forms to the point of being hypnotized by them. His works engage the viewer. We interviewed Marchelli at his home and studio, a space he describes as “where I try to depict my vision of the world. This is where I force my thoughts to become form.”

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This story appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of MILIEU