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Nicola Simbari is considered by many to be Italy's most important living artist. A painter of semiabstract impressionist works, he is a stunning colorist who favors brilliant tones, richly layered with a palette knife. Like the great impressionists of a century ago, Simbari's paintings are drenched in light and energy, but provide new definition through his intensity of vision and dramatic technique.
Born in Calabria, Italy, Simbari was greatly impacted by the natural setting of his Mediterranean world: the wide sea, intense sky, and vivid flowers. As a young child, he moved with his family to Rome where his father worked as an architect to the Vatican. The City's Renaissance masterpieces and the artistic treasures of the Sistine Chapel so moved Simbari that, before his 13th birthday, he decided to study art and enrolled at the Accademia delle Belle Arti. At 22, he opened his first studio in Rome. Influenced by the sights and sounds of his childhood, Simbari's early works featured gypsies, cafe settings, fishing villages, and rustic scenes of the Italian countryside.
The youthful artist knew success almost immediately, and within months of a one-man show in London, he was awarded the coveted commission to paint murals for the Italian Pavilion at the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels. He solidified his place in the art world with his show "Le Cirque," which skillfully reproduced the same excitement on canvas as can be felt at an electrifying circus performance. The show was highly acclaimed in Paris, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. "When I paint, I'm like a writer," Simbari states, "I must have something to say. My paintings are like entries in a diary because they are all reactions to things I have seen or felt."
Although Mediterranean landscapes and portrayals of contemporary European life are Simbari's mainstay, he has recently turned his attention to painting the Southwest. "There's terrific drama in the desert. It's mysterious and magical, and the most dramatic natural sculpture I've ever seen." Whether he is capturing the awe-inspiring beauty of a rugged canyon, or the grace of a soaring falcon, Simbari's canvases sing with color and emotion.
Simbari holds a pivotal place in today's international art scene. His works can be found in numerous museums and private and corporate collections the world over, including the Bank of Tokyo, Paris; Christian Dior Collection, Paris; Italian State Railways, Rome; Liberty Company, London; Bank of Commerce, Tulsa; Cincinnati Fine Arts Department, Cincinnati; Exxon Corporation, New York; General Mills Corporation, Minneapolis; Pepsico, New York; to name just a few.
Major American and English critics have called Simbari "thoroughly disarming"; one who paints "boldly and in a state of excitement"; "whose personal enthusiasm and enormous zest for life have much the same infectious appeal as do his paintings."