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A Conversation between Rocca and Vicki Arnot PDF Print E-mail

A shared conversation between Luigi Rocca and Vicki Arnot at Arnot Gallery.

Vicki Arnot: Luigi, what is it about the New York Skyline and Times Square area that inspires you to paint those subjects?

Luigi Rocca: There is more than one reason why I mostly paint the skyline of New York City and Times Square.

As for skylines, I like observing the work of men stretching skywards from the sea, the disarming heights of skyscrapers, the chromatic effect in particular times of the day, the play of lights, the material colors.

Times Square, on the other hand, is frenzy, people always on the go, the everlasting meeting of different cultures, religions, languages at any time of day and night. It is tourism as well as a meeting place for New Yorkers and Foreigners alike. Times Square is an endless advertisement (pop art), it is color, it is movement. I like that Times Square never turns off.

When you decide to paint a certain painting, do you feel compelled to keep painting until it is completed? Or do you study the painting in progress, as you paint it, and make adjustments as you go along?

A painting begins with a careful choice of the beginning image. It can be a picture, an advertisement, a poster, a movie scene which draws my attention and affects me somehow. Sometimes I blend a few images together, I insert details of one image into the background of another one, seizing colors and reflections here and there. Sometimes, instead, I attempt to faithfully reproduce each single detail, in a sort of personal challenge against photography. I begin a painting by pencil drawing a few lines, to have the main architectural reference, then it is all acrylic. Late in the painting process, when the end is not far, I stop, I lay it aside. When I get back to it, I see what is missing, the details which need to be fixed, the particular details which need to be changed, with fresh eyes. It is only then that I can finish the painting without further hesitation.

Luigi, do certain colors inspire you more than others? Do you feel that vibrant colors make you more passionate about the paintings you paint?

Colors are tightly connected to the very beginning of an image in my mind. The colors are chosen depending on the effect I would like to give the artwork, from the light as well as from the emotional period I am going through. Colors rise by themselves, almost automatically, on the palette, as they follow the image I want to realize from my mind. Therefore explaining the conception of the colors for each painting is not so easy.

Which artist(s) historically who came before you have influenced you the most, and why?

The artists who mostly influenced my art are Richard Estes for his use of perspective, Edward Hopper for the atmosphere he was able to convey onto a canvas, Chuck Close for his precision in portraits and Andy Warhol for his being such a genius.


Vicki Arnot, Arnot Gallery
Excerpt from "Luigi Rocca. Graphic Works", 2010


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