Italian oil painter Luca Ripamonti incarnates the quintessential Renaissance spirit, both in art and life. Moved by a vivacious intellect and curiosity, the artist has taken on many different roles with passionate pursuit and a pinch of recklessness. Throughout the years he has supported himself as a bodybuilding instructor, a jazz drummer, a nurse, and was crowned Strongman world champion in 2019. After “breaking every bone in my body” he decided to devote himself entirely to art.
Ripamonti began to paint at age 11 and in his early twenties studied under the tutelage of a well-known local artist. He would sneak out after school, unbeknownst to his parents, and spend hours learning the trade. There he absorbed the techniques of Caravaggio – the chiaroscuro, the cinnabar and burnt umber underpaintings, the theatricality of the poses. With a classical aesthetic evocative of 15th and 16th century paintings, Ripamonti paints tasteful nudes, portraits, landscapes, and still lifes that explore the condition of humanity and the complex underpinnings of the universe. In Blame, a naked female figure, consumed with guilt, buries her face in her hands surrounded by accusatory hands. The Naked Meal, titled after David Cronenberg’s homonymous film about a woman killed by her husband, represents women’s revenge over men. Whether in a face, a look, a smile, a river, or an animal, Ripamonti probes into the psyche, capturing the eternal essence in everything that inspires him and uncovering the divinity that is in nature and every living being.