The fascination of Italian cities by David V Wheeler

Cityscapes have always been a classic theme for painters throughout art history, but it’s so fascinating to see how the theme has evolved and is being reinterpreted in modern times. Before the invention of photography, painters with their unique artistic abilities were the prime creators of images that captured specific scenes from the era in which they lived. Contemporary realist painters working today within the genre of the city as their inspiration are able to capture that special elusive quality that enables the viewer to be transported into the places they depict. In recent times this is certainly the case of David V Wheeler, who has dedicated an extraordinary series of paintings to the subject of major Italian Cities, focusing his attention on the places he has visited and using photographic reference taken on location by the artist at various times of day in order to instill another worldly quality within his scenes, the play of light becomes the focus of our attention.

In Wheeler’s paintings you can definitely observe the passion of the moment for the place depicted. His scenarios are rich in specific detailed elements such as the reflections of Italian apartments on either side of the River Arno in Florence or the apparent simplicity of a classically arranged view taken from the colosseum in Rome, bathed in an ethereal evening light. The perspective plays a fundamental role in his artworks, reaching extreme levels in the wide angle views he expertly executes. This unique characteristic of his paintings allows the panoramic scene to surround the viewer and make you feel fully immersed in the place, experiencing a sort of new sensorial perception.

Another distinctive aspect of his paintings is a substantial interest in the Metaphysical, where there’s an echoe of masters such as Giorgio De Chirico, who believed that the physical world is only the surface of reality and that we should become aware of and enlighten ourselves to the unseen aspects of reality, of being “The so-called All”. Wheeler is currently working on a new marvelous series dedicated to Venice and we’re looking forward to seeing what’s next because he can explore the genre of the modern Italian cityscape in ever new and surprising ways.

“I aim to convey a spiritual quality through the use of natural light, the fragile nature of existence and an emotional connection which revolves around the human condition.”
– David V. Wheeler



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