Paolo Troilo … the artist who converted me to ‘Live Art’

I have never been fond of live art. To me it’s a gimmick and I find it highly distracting being pushed and shoved by people trying to get a better view. However my perception changed after I came across a video showing Italian artist  Paolo Troilo hard at work. What I saw was a phenomenal and curiosity drove me to attend his live show at The Ransom Gallery

Born in Taranto in 1972, Paolo is a self-taught artist. He started drawing by pencil at the age of 4, and has never stopped. In April 2005 he started his career as a professional artist, as a result of this long, unconscious stage of preparation towards a future change. Paolo started to paint with his fingers, after he forgot his brushes. Paolo abandoned the traditional “tools of the art” and now just dips his fingertips into jars of acrylic, black and ivory, and spreading colour on to a blank canvas.

“Faraglioni” Acrylic on canvas with fingers

I watched closely as he finished his painting; a painting that he had been working on since 10am, I watched him interact with visitors and all I saw was a remarkable man, who spoke with such passion and conviction, and a man who didn’t seem to lose focus with his art or with his rather busy and packed environment.


What I realised in that moment was that this was no ordinary artist, nor was this some ordinary ‘live art’. But it was a space, a collective, where every single person who had seen Paolo painting this wonderful piece had become part of the journey, part of the story, and most importantly they had become part of this painting. I mentioned this to Paolo who smiled and thanked me. However later on in the evening he came up to me and said what I said to him earlier was probably the most remarkable thing he had heard all day. He said I understood what he had created in that moment and I was the only one who described it the best. To a person who never enjoyed Live Art that was a compliment, which I would treasure.


For those who missed the live show, fear not. Paolo’s current exhibition is still being exhibited at The Ransom Gallery 105 Pimlico Rd, London SW1W 8LS


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