It is a journey through the suggestions and coexistence of black and light in Tommaso Ottieri’s first Roman solo exhibition, entitled The Function of Black, curated by Marco Di Capua. The exhibition consists of some 20 works in which the artist depicts urban spaces, views, bridges, streets, theaters and churches in Paris, London, Venice, Madrid, Naples and New York as they emerge from the nighttime darkness through the lights of cities, the golds of churches and the seductive illuminations of theaters.
“I like to paint cities at night,” Ottieri himself points out in the catalog, “At night everything changes: black is no longer shadow but again becomes the outline that served us to define light.
In the Neapolitan-born artist’s works, light is achieved through the use of many colors, especially purplish-brown tones for the dark and yellow ochre for the light, mixed with translucent bluish or reddish resins; while black, the artist’s favorite, is created by mixing, through ancient and complex processes, smoky black and ivory black with a purple lacquer.
The result, of great expressive and emotional quality, is the majestic depiction of opulent, historic and at the same time modern buildings and cityscapes, painted in shades of red blue and yellow ochre.