When you hear the word Ca’Toga, so much beauty, fantasy and artistry comes to mind. Located in California’s picturesque Napa Valley, Ca’Toga is a replica of a Palladian-style Italian home — but one with a fun sense of humour mixed in with a strong sense of design. Filled with trompe l’oeil murals, sculptures and wonderful architectural details, the villa remains an ever-popular draw to visitors. When you then think of the artist behind the masterpiece, Carlo Marchiori, you think of the singularly creative mind that created such an enchanting world. He was born in Italy and after living for a time in Canada, settled in California in 1978. Among his incredible world-wide projects, he has also been nominated for an Oscar and opened a second Ca’Toga in Thailand.
Mr. Marchiori was recently invited by the Museo Italo Americano to exhibit a curated collection of his fantastical works. The Museo Italo Americano, located in San Francisco, was the first museum in the U.S. entirely devoted to Italian and Italian-American art and culture. They present incredible exhibitions and this wonderful showcase, entitled Festa Veneziana: The Imaginative World of Carlo Marchiori, is currently open through June 3, 2012. We had the opportunity to correspond with Mr. Marchiori to talk a bit about his inspirations, his tastes in other’s artwork and what he would do if he had two hours to spare in his busy schedule. Let’s dig in…
Do you have a personal artisan philosophy?
I grew up and attended art school in the 5os, there the curriculum was based on traditional, academic trainings: perspective, chiaroscuro, life drawing and practical work projects in the techniques of watercolor, fresco and tempera.
Professionally, who are some of your inspirations?
As a figurative artist, I lean toward the spontaneous fluidity of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and 18th-century Venetian artists.
What’s the best piece of professional advice you have received?
My art teacher would say “good” but you should work “harder”.
(above and below) Beautiful peeks into the Festa Veneziana exhibit. It includes paintings, sculptures and ceramics among the pieces. You can see that whimsical, spontaneous, surreal and fantastical all come into play in his artistry.
In your travels, what have been some of the most inspiring spaces you’ve seen?
I like Greco-Roman ruins and some Renaissance or Baroque theatrics such as the Park at Bomarzo, frescoed Palladian villas, Roma Baroque churches, etc.
What subject do you most appreciate in art?
People — the nude movements in figures — but I have recently moved toward the surreal and abstract.
Please Click to Enlarge
What figures do you doodle?
I like movements in animals in motion and the human figures. I have doodled all my life and it is faster to sketch anything than having to describe it with words.
If you were paid to write a new book on any subject you wished, what would it be about?
I would write about the general subject of creativity, how to invent something — to turn “a silk purse into a sow’s ear” (I mean it this way). Creating spontaneous inventions such as Picasso’s bicycle handle bar bull. I use bones, old junk, antlers, absurd industrial gadgetries, left over this & that, all assembled together with crazy glue.
What job would you like to have for a month?
To design, to plan and to build a terraced amphitheater on either side of a natural stream, using recycled rubbles to make it look like an ancient ruin. People would feel the combination of nature and architecture…but it would take more than one month to build.
Finally, if you had two hours to waste on anything, what would you do?
Pruning, cleaning, doing laundry and cooking or taking my three Basenji dogs for a walk on the hills.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
That sounds like a wonderful way to while away the time! I loved learning about his leanings, a bit on how he perceives the world and getting a peek at the exhibit. (Glad I found out about the park in Bomarzo, too — had no idea!) Mr. Marchiori is a world-class artist whose work graces the lobby of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas and Tokyo’s Disney Resort. If you are in the San Francisco area, do visit the Museo Italo Americano’s Festa Veneziana exhibit (open until June 3rd!) and of course, take a tour of the unforgettable Ca’Toga in Napa Valley. You can also keep up with the incredible artistry of Mr. Marchiori via the Ca’Toga Facebook page and Twitter stream. They also have a wonderful YouTube channel. I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s profile and information — it was an incredible honor for me to put it together for you. Many thanks to Tony Banthutham and JoAnn Locktov for facilitating the profile, so appreciated. May you have an inspired weekend, gorgeous ones!
__________________________________________________________________________________________________ Subscribe to our Feed Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Pinterest Become a Fauxology Facebook Fan Subscribe to Fauxology YouTube