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Nicola Samori, La notte di Bartolomeo, 2017. Fresco, 78 7/10 × 58 3/10 in, 200 × 148 cm. Courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin. Photo: Rolando Paolo Guerzoni.

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Nicola Samori, Aperto (Il bene di Paolo), 2015. Oil on wood, 39 2/5 × 39 2/5 in, 100 × 100 cm. Courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin.

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Nicola Samori, Il corpo squisito, 2017. Oil on copper, 33 1/2 × 19 7/10 in, 85 × 50 cm. Courtesy the artist and Monitor, Rome.

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Nicola Samori, Storia esemplare della carne, 2017. Oil on copper, 39 2/5 × 39 2/5 in, 100 × 100 cm. Courtesy the artist and Monitor, Rome.

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Nicola Samori, ‘Untitled’, 2017. Oil on copper 59 1/10 × 78 7/10 in, 150 × 200 cm. Courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin.

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Nicola Samori, ‘June 27 - Crowned’, 2014. Oil on copper, 47 1/5 × 39 2/5 in, 120 × 100 cm. Courtesy Rosenfeld Porcini, London.

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Nicola Samori, ‘aveeva’, 2017. Oil on copper, 19 7/10 × 15 7/10 in, 50 × 40 cm. Courtesy the artist and Monitor, Rome.

Italian, b. 1977, Forlì, Italy, based in Bagnacavallo, Italy

Nicola Samori’s dark, Baroque-inspired oil paintings are skillful reproductions of classical portraits and still lifes on canvas, wood, or copper, purposefully destroyed to negate classical representation and question painting itself. His process entails “skinning” his painted figures with a palette knife or diluent, layering another image on top, and repeating the process until images fuse and signs of erasure and scratching dominate the reworked surface. Samori explains that exposing the inside of the paint by removing layers of “skin” with a scalpel reveals “a freshness and an intensity unknown in the outer tones.”