Paolo Nicolai collects objects that are refused by others in order to re-compose or de-compose the great classical, hellenic and neoclassical statuary, from Fidia to Prassitele and Canova.
Sometimes his research makes use of classical archetypes, sometimes disfigures them and transposes them into the present.
The artist imagines his figures as dystopian, belonging to the era in which they are found and therefore worn out.
The contemporary appreciation for the classic has been renewed for thousands of years but at the same time in these pieces, the boundary between the conventional beauty and its refusal, between the subject and the material, in the era of the anti-historicity of present, is getting thinner and thinner.
Paolo Nicolai was born in 1971 in Carrara, the world capital of marble. After the classical studies, he attended the prestigious University of Architecture of Florence, designing several projects.
Always attracted by the classical beauty, in the last years his path is focused on the matter and the research of "the new marble". His continuous experimentation made him elaborate an original language in which the waste is central.
He stated "It is always exciting to realize the endless possibilities of shape and colours, the finale result is always unpredictable".
Paolo Nicolai sculptures are present in private and public collection all over the word: Abu Dhabi, Basel, Berlin, Paris, Perth, Milan, Rome.
Among his latest exhibitions: White Carrara Downtown, Palazzo Binelli (2020), Palazzo Grillo in Genoa (2021), Museo Statale Omero in Ancona (2022), Mercati di Traiano in Rome (2023).
In 2022 Gradina Gallery donated the artwork "Hermes" to the Embassy of Italy in Doha, Qatar to strengthen the cultural relationship between the two countries.