Patrick Pietropoli

The "figure-vedute" relationship in my work has always been dominant. I was obsessed by two contradictory ideas: to represent the city, "le dehors" (outside) in its complex architectural form, and the woman, "le dedans" (inside) the everyday softness of femininity. I struggled to reconcile these two recurring ideas in my work.

As a painter of landscapes, I refused the picturesque nature of street scenes, choosing to portray urban landscapes akin to the teeming, gaily-coloured world of the paintings of Canaletto or Guardi. As a portraitist, I eliminated everything that was outside of the subject: no scenario, no specific location, no symbols. That is why in the past I only represented one at a time, temporally forgetting the desire to fuse them together.

However in my mind, this fusion was always present, and when I began to explore the city of New York this reconciliation became possible: rather than remove the omnipresent billboard posters, I would place the female figures I created within them. New York allowed me to blend the urban and the feminine, the outside and the inside.

I thought about depicting the traditional female form in the same style as manipulated digital images of the modern world. This merging of tradition with technology was unsuccessful. The women I painted were real, and therefore imperfect, in opposition to the doctored photographic images we see all around us. Even though I had projected them into the urban environment, plastering them across billboards, my paintings were still true to the model.

If New York was the catalyst for this marriage of figure and landscape, then London pushed the idea further. Here prominent statuary formed the fabric of the landscape; the figure was not at odds with its surroundings, it was embedded in it. In this historical environment, I could place my nudes on the tops of towers and the pinnacles of monuments. In London, a dialogue between the living and the inanimate seemed possible, a sensual, feminine physicality represented in bronze and stone.

Patrick Pietropoli. New York, March 2011.

Patrick Pietropoli was born in Paris in 1953, and has spent much of his professional life in the city. Since 1990, he has consistently exhibited in both solo and group shows. He has executed commissions in the form of frescoes and monumental sculpture for the Mutualite Francaise, and has exhibited nationally in Italy, France, Belgium and America. Other exhibitions include; Catherine Guerard Galerie, Crema Museum, and Galerie Claudine Legrand in Paris, 2011.  His work is in both private and public collections, including a recent acquisition by the Museum of Melun, France. His work can also be found in the permanent collection of the Musée de la Marine, Place de la Concorde, Paris.

After relocating to New York in 2008, he has continued to exhibit in his native country, as well as being represented at international art fairs. The exhibition with The Cynthia Corbett Gallery represents his debut solo show in London.