Hugo Galerie is pleased to present Coup de Foudre, a solo exhibition of Patrick Pietropoli’s works of living romance. Whether of architecture or the figure, a city sidewalk or private moment, the artist’s paintings live, breathe, and bleed romance.
Coupe de Foudre literally translates to a bolt of lightning. But metaphorically, it means love at first sight. This analogy holds true for Pietropoli’s paintings as well—literally, they are of luminescent buildings and people. But metaphorically, they are of love. This is because he gives light agency and his subjects are his muses: New York City, Paris, historic architecture, and enigmatic women.
Edifices shimmer. Transparent fabrics glimmer. Buildings and faces are occasionally obscured—not by shadow, but by light. Pietropoli’s treatment of light coaxes his canvases into sentience. You expect the Louvre’s rooftop sculptures to dimple when embraced and flush when kissed. Reflective metalwork, windows, and mirrors sparkle under his adoring eyes. The ubiquitous glow is always organic, never artificial. Each work emanates a sultry radiance that only the sun can bestow. The artist’s medium is brilliance. Luster is inherent.
Like love itself, the paintings are mysterious. The compositions are frequently without context: Pietropoli seldoms shows the complete building, reveals the entire room, or gives the whole story. Cornices, eaves, windows, and doorways entice viewers into architectural recesses recreated in hypnotizing detail. Women interrupted in their presumed boudoirs become provocative in their disarming ambivalence to being discovered. The scenes are seductive in their ability to draw the viewer into their world, melting the reality beyond the canvas edge into a meaningless periphery.
Pietropoli artworks are monumental in subject yet intimate in nature. Every view feels like a view meant only for you, a spotlight on a vignette personally prepared. Like peering through a keyhole before opening the door. Evocative women return your gaze, perform a fashion show privé, and repose on your recamier. Beaux-Arts façades are situated at the perfect perspective for your admiration and elegant interiors await your touch. These works are more than oil on canvas; they manifest an archetypal allure that seizes with the power of a million volts. Pietropoli paints the beauty of being in love. And it is striking.