Portrait & Paintings
I was born into a working-class family on December 22, 1981, in Colleferro, an industrial town in metropolitan Rome. While my hometown isn’t known for its art, its proximity to Rome meant that I had access to a wealth of art and art history.
At 16, I began dancing professionally. Shortly after, I discovered my love of blues and soul singing, which I have kept up wherever possible ever since.
When I was 19, in 2000, I joined the Mvula Sungani company as a singer and dancer. At the time, I gave up my architectural studies in Rome despite top marks. During this time, I also studied dance under international stars like Denys Ganio and Margherita Trayanova. I also had the opportunity to pursue voice studies with Maestro Fulvio Tomaino.
Over the years, I was able to work with Italy’s best choreographers, among them Franco Miseria and Steve LaChance. In 2003, my career took an important turn: for the first time, I played in a musical, BULLI E PUPE, with Compagnia della Rancia.
In November 2004, I unexpectedly took part in Maria De Filippi’s AMICI talent show on Italy’s Canale 5, where I was among the top 20 finalists of AMICI’s evening edition.
Italian best performer: Massimini Award
After AMICI, I was able to make my dream come true in 2005, with my own modern dance production entitled COLLEZIONE PRIVATA. It was inspired by famous paintings and sculptures. Not only did I conceptualize and choreograph COLLEZIONE PRIVATA, I also directed the production at Italy’s Dancing Academy theatre and the Orione theatre in Rome.
In the years that followed, I taught dance at the Have a Dream academy in Rome. I also took part in the AMICI tour and gained additional experience in television with the film Passo a due.
I returned to in musicals in 2007/2008. In Three Meters Above Heaven by Federico Moccia, I played Pollo, one of the two protagonists. In 2008, Edoardo Bennato and Maurizio Colombi cast me in the starring role in PETER PAN, the musical.
For my performances in the 2008/2009 theatre season, in 2010 the International Operetta Association awarded me with the 11th edition of Italy’s Sandro Massimini prize for best performance in a starring role.
In 2009/2010, I played Mungo Jerry in the Compagnia della Rancia production of CATS.
The same year, I also began what would become a long collaboration with Stage Entertainment, with a role as Jimmy Kaminsky in FLASHDANCE.
During this period, I spent most of my time at the National Theatre in Milan. It was here that I had the privilege of playing TJ in Sister Act, the musical, which was co-produced by Whoopi Goldberg.
Bobby C. & Terk
In 2012/2013, I played Bobby C. in Stage Entertainment’s production of Saturday Night Fever. In the 2014/2015 season, I also performed in The best of Musical tour under the direction of Chiara Noschese. During the same season, I played Christian, one of the protagonists in Erica&Omar, è tutto uno show, a Nito Production musical tragi-comedy directed by Enzo Iacchetti at the Lo Spazio theatre in Rome.
At the same time, I also taught at the Kids Academy, an acting school at the National Theatre in Milan.
Moreover, at the beginning of 2015, I was invited to be a guest choreographer and performer for 14 episodes of Chance, a television show on Italy’s Agon Channel.
In May 2015, I accepted a role in the Disney Musical TARZAN in Germany, another Stage Entertainment production that was directed by Jeff Lee, with music by Phil Collins. In the Stuttgart and Oberhausen productions, I held one of the leading roles, as Tarzan’s best friend Terk, until September 2017.
Portrait & Paintings
I began drawing when I was three years old, and I discovered my love of painting and the Italian masters – especially Botticelli and Leonardo at first, and Michelangelo and Raphael later on – in my first year of primary school. My first-grade religion book was illustrated with Renaissance painting, and from this moment on, I began copying the most famous works of the Renaissance as well as I could.
By imitating the masters and studying Vasari, I gradually taught myself oil painting techniques and imitated the Renaissance masters’ fascinating ability to depict their subjects in a manner that brought them to life on the canvas. My interest in painting was unwavering, and at 13 I began attending a high school for fine arts in Frosinone. At 15, I won my first painting competition in my hometown of Colleferro.
Every so often, I had the opportunity to take part in small regional exhibits, which ultimately led to my first major commissioned work in 2003: a self-designed, life-sized Supper at Emmaus for the San Rocco parish church in Gavignano, a small medieval town close to Rome.
Carlos Azpiroz Costa, O. P.
In the summer of 2004, I continued to work in Gavignano, where I painted a large pilgrimage banner at the Santa Maria delle Grazie pilgrimage church. The banner featured an image of the church’s worshipped sculpture and of the Virgin Mary with her child.
In 2010, I was commissioned to create a painting that is still very important to me: the official portrait (oil on canvas) of Carlos Azpiroz Costa, O. P., the Master of the Dominican Order from 2001-2010. The portrait is part of the permanent collection at the museum of the Basilika Santa Sabina in Rome, where it is exhibited in the Gallery of the Successor of the Holy Dominicus.
In 2017, the official portrait was added to Il convento di Santa Sabina all’Aventino e il suo patrimonio storico-artistico e architettonico, an art history anthology published by Campisano in Rome.
BP Portrait Award & National Portrait Gallery
At the end of 2017, I entered the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery in London. This competition is the world’s biggest for portrait painting.
In March 2018, the jury selected my oil painting A throne in the West among 48 submissions.
A throne in the West is currently part of the BP Award special exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery.
It will then be on display at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, and at the Winchester Discovery Centre.
The same year in September I took part in a group exhibition about Hyperrealism in painting during the Philosophy’s Festival in Modena, Italy.
I was commissioned, in 2019, to paint the portrait of princess Mafalda of Hesse. After another commission for the artist and designer Rolf Sachs and his “Dracula Club” in St. Moritz, Switzerland. An the same time I also painted the commissioned portrait of Giuliano Pagnani, Count of San Leone, Italy.