Nello Petrucci shows his Pompeii collection at New York Artexpo

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Nello Petrucci

Originally from Naples, residing in Pompeii, Nello Petrucci is a world-renowned artist. Petrucci has also worked in the film industry as an actor, cameraman and set designer. Petrucci has internalized the cinema’s ability to create drama and meaning through color and movement and recasts that ability through powerful effect in his collages.

Recently, Petrucci showed his Pompeii collection at the Artexpo  in New York City, one of the   world’s largest gathering of fine art in a marketplace setting. Not only was Petrucci welcomed by art enthusiasts from all over the world, but he and his manager, Giovanni Boccia were awarded with the prestigious “Spotlight Award.” Petrucci showcased his latest paintings and we had had the chance to meet him at the expo and see his work firsthand.  He sure is one talented artist!

OR: What was it like growing up in Italy?

NP: I’m fortunate to live in a location with so much history such as Pompeii. It has such beauty and I truly appreciate living here. I have realized how wonderful and special it is now that I have traveled around the world. As a boy, I took for granted living amongst the ruins of Pompeii and experiencing this special ancient city. I would just lose myself by walking in the streets. Pompeii possesses a sense of magic since the city was literally frozen in time but has continued to flourish as a modern place amongst thousands of year old structures. My experience growing up in Pompeii contrasts with Naples. Naples maintains its original strong culture and tradition yet is a modern European city. It is unique to remain at once the center of modernity and remain rooted in its tradition. I am lucky to have lived in these two very different cities. My childhood is filled with happiness and moments of pure joy in remembering my experiences as a young boy.


OR:  At what age did you know that you wanted to be an artist? Are there many artists from Naples?

NP: During Christmas time when I was 13, I took my Bingo winnings and bought my first easel, canvases and colors and I began to express myself and the images that were important to me with painting. I did not have a formal art education at the time, but I freed my ideas and threw them on the canvas without any prejudice. I began to literally paint my world. Combining my love for cinema and paint allowed me a variety of ways to express myself and share my thoughts. I was able to capture my images in a painting format which was exciting. Naples today is a very contemporary city and with my experience in Pompeii I have a nice contrast of Italian culture and history.


OR: As a young boy, where did your interests lie?

NP: As soon as I began painting, I knew this is what I wanted to continue doing, This became such a passion for me just like film did. Using a different medium to capture images has trained me to focus on interesting topics. I also enjoy photography and printmaking – using posters, newspaper clippings and photography in my paintings.


OR: Are there any artists in your family?

NP: No, there are no other artists in my family. In fact, I had asked my parents to enroll with me in art school after middle school, but the distance was too far. So I waited until after high school to attend the Academia of the Fine Arts of Naples. I am proud to have graduated with top honors. I was a little older than the other students and this maturity helped me to focus on my craft and get up to speed faster.


OR: How did you know what kind of artist you wanted to become?

NP: I am always searching to express myself in the most unique ways that showcases my ability to unite film and painting. As long as I am able to display my intent with color and detail, I’m happy. It may take time to get the imagery correct, but I’m committed to working on a particular piece until it is right to me.


OR: How do artists continue to draw inspiration?

NP: Many things draw inspiration and there are so many options for expression. No one person is going to do the exact thing as another. That is what makes Picasso and Michelangelo so unique and special. Art is the change of the unconditional world. We draw inspiration from others, the beauty of our surroundings and incorporate them in our world.


OR: How did you connect to Contemply?

NP: Contemply established itself as a company of experts and promoters of the art world promoting Italian artists in the global market of contemporary art, supporting artists and their investors. They admired my work in some of my shows. Our mutual friend introduced me to the co-owner, Giovanni Boccia and we connected immediately. It’s nice when people appreciate your work and believe in your abilities so that you can express yourself freely and without hesitation.


OR: Where can we see some of your work?

NP: My work can be seen in some galleries and museums throughout Italy. I’m currently working with Contemply to create an online gallery so that my paintings can be seen globally.


OR: Where will we see some of your future exhibits this year?

NP: Currently, I’m working on a major project inside the Pompeii excavations that will be open to the public in September in Pompeii. It’s a large exhibition entitled, “Pompeii and the Mysteries of Great Beauty,” where I have the pleasure of exhibiting inside the Antiquarium, which is a very special place. To show my work in my hometown is such a tremendous honor so I have a strong responsibility to make it that much more outstanding.


OR: Have you been to the Hamptons and if not, will you think to come and show some of your artwork there in the future?

NP: No, I’ve never been but plan on doing some work there in the near future.  I hear how beautiful that area of the east end is.


OR: Do you have a favorite restaurant in New York?

NP: NYC has some of the greatest restaurants in the world. I must admit, I’m a big fan of salads and you can find so many places that can make you one just the way you want it  and with any dressing you prefer. To me, that is a really a cool thing! The beauty of NYC is the wide selections that it offers, which means that you never have to eat in the same restaurant more than once. That would be a shame!


OR: Will we see any of your work in New York this year?

NP: I had the opportunity to visit with a private real estate developer in NYC a few weeks ago through my public relations agency, Indra Public Relations.  I will start with a canvas that will be exhibited along with work of other artists, outside of 2 WTC. The work will be seen by thousands of visitors per day.  Additionally, I’m starting a path that approaches the museum community here in the U.S. and Europe.


OR: What would you say to your 8-year-old self?

NP: Life is wonderful! It’s ready to surprise you when you think you have experienced everything. It’s up to you to always make the choices that life puts before you.  Don’t wait for an opportunity. Ask questions – and realize that time is fleeting – grasp that special moment as it glitters.


OR: Wow! Great advice.  Thank you for taking the time to speak with me and I look forward to seeing your work outside of 2 WTC as well as around town. Good luck with everything.

NP: Thank you for your time and I look forward to staying in touch.


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