Fabio Modica


About the Artist:

Fabio Modica was born in Catania in 1978. An apprentice to well-known Italian painters Alberto Abate and Antonio Santacroce, he was soon inspired by the classical Renaissance, occasionally drawing on Greek and Latin mythology. In his early years as a painter, the human figure wrapped up in a Caravaggesque light was his major subject matter and oil paint his favorite medium. His versatile spirit has led him to incorporate many different styles and mediums into his later works, including watercolors, acrylics and chalks.

The encounter with Santacroce in 2002 marked a departure from the representational style towards a semi-abstracted texture. Modica's enduring realism was gradually dismantled by a compelling drive for sheer lines and thick smudges of color.


Over time, Modica has grown a genuine passion for nude art, which has recently inspired a series of black & white paintings on the commodification of the human body and its spiritual decay. In this series, called "Mercification", the absence of color enables the painter to rely entirely on the force of his brushstroke and the gesture of scratching and carving the pictorial surface.

Modica's distinctive mark is seen in his ability to lay down "multi-layered coats of vibrant paint spread over a tortured canvas with vigorous spatula strokes, as if the painter were action painting". His most celebrated artworks are close-in portraits of female faces whose gaze "directs itself to the viewer like a darting arrow". As it has been put, "the meaning of everything is condensed in faces inhabited by beauty or imbued with suffering, all tied up together by a thin red string: the eyes. Hypnotic eyes, of a persistent crystal blue in the intimate fabric of matter and thus as deep as the soul. Eyes, guardians of truths, capable of pulling in the viewer in the fullness of their openness. Eyes interrogating and scrutinizing. Eyes speaking to us."

Fabio Modica's "faces" shape fragments of memories, enigmatic moods, and modernist "moments of being". They have become part of two parallel series titled "Gnosis" and "Prisoners of Matter", both widely acclaimed in the US art galleries where most of Modica's artistic output has been shown since 2013.

The term "Gnosis", Greek in origin, means "knowledge", but not so much theoretical as embedded in action and experience.

The painter strongly believes that Art is the most effective means to enhance self-awareness. The Gnosis series captures individuals experiencing a state of epiphany and self-revelation which suddenly generates a truly eye-opening emotion. The feelings explored are, inter alia: wonder, oblivion, eagerness, elevation, regret, self-denial, loss, composure and liberation.

In the Prisoners of Matter series the subjects are constrained within the material world, symbolized by the painting "matter". Modica skillfully catches the brief instant in which a kind of illumination, which film director Werner Herzog calls "the ecstatic flash, from which Truth emerges", breaks his subjects free from their self-made traps and barriers, so they can awake into a higher level of consciousness.


Fabio Modica has frequently partaken in art events promoting the importance of recycling in Art. A successful cycle of works entirely made of trash materials earned him the third prize at the 2012 international competition called “STOP ALLO 048 degli oggetti” and hosted in his hometown, Catania. Here Modica's portraits arise out of multicolored nails, screws, pins, plastic tools, clipped wires and whirling cables, all of which contributing to a more vivid imagery. His latest artwork of this series is a massive three-piece portrait of a woman’s face forged with used-up denim.

At present, his work has been included in many art shows throughout Europe, especially in England, Spain, France and Italy. The cultural association “SpazioVitalein” and “Ideattiva”, both based in Catania, have been promoting him for years, the latter being especially active in the field of recycling. In Nice, France, Modica’s paintings are permanently displayed at the “Villa Magdalena” Art Gallery.



2009-2010           University of Bologna – Master’s Degree in History and Preservation of Works of Art, Bologna- Ravenna, Italy.

2003-2005           Palazzo Spinelli Fine Art and Restoration Institute, Master’s Degree in Drawing, Painting and Trompe l'Oeil decoration, Florence.

1999-2003           Nike Academy of Fine Art and Restoration, Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art and Restoration, Catania.

2001                     Nike Academy of Fine Art and Restoration, Training Course in Restoration of old books, drawings and printed images, Catania.

2000                     Nike Academy of Fine Art and Restoration, Training Course in Restoration of paintings, Catania.


2016       Kosmos - Palazzo Della Cultura Musei, Catania CT, Italy

              Carnaval - Bill Lowe Gallery - Atlanta - GA

2015       Glimpses of Light - Aberson Exhibits - Tulsa - OK

              Gnosis - Galleria Civica Pippo Giuffrida - Misterbianco - CT

              Prisoners of Matter - Bill Lowe Gallery - Atlanta - GA - USA

               Listening Life, for a Civil Commitment - Auditorium Nelson Mandela - Misterbianco - CT - Italy

              Materia e Luce - Officina della Memoria e dell'Immagine - Fiuggi - FR

2014       Hidden Perceptions – Studio A Contemporary Art Gallery – CT

              Mediterranean Portraits - Officina della memoria e dell’immagine - Vol.II - Fiuggi - FR 

              Mediterranean Portraits - Sperlinga Medieval Castel - EN 

2013       Sicily Outlet Village – Dittaino (EN) Mostra collettiva “Jeans d’Autore” 7 Giu – 14 Lug.

  SpazioVitalein Art Gallery – “Face not only”, 11-22 May, Catania.

  SpazioVitalein Art Gallery - “Le forme reciproche” (tr: “The Mutual Shapes”), 2-12 Feb,   Catania.

2012       Le Ciminiere Art Gallery - “Stopallo048degliOggetti” - Competition on Recycling Art & Group Exhibition, 17 Nov-6 Dec, Catania.

 Opening of the Museum of Contemporary Art (Museo del Presente),13 Oct-13 Nov,  Nicosia (Enna, Sicily).

 MAS Art Gallery - “Il Colore Demiurgo” -8 Set – 3 Oct, Catania.

 Pennisi di Floristella Castle - “Symphony of Lives”-27-28 July, Acireale (Catania).

 Artisanship Fair, 4-5 Agosto, Acireale (Catania).

2011      CAL CAUCADE - “Peintures & Poesies aux couleurs de l’Italie”- 16 Oct - 30 Nov, Nice.

Brick Lane Gallery –“Art in Mind” – 26 Nov-10 Dec, London.

Nike Academy of Fine Art and Restoration, 12-26 June Catania.

ESART Gallery – “Art Nou - XII Salone d’Inverno” – 18 Jan-1 Feb, Barcellona.

2010     Art Nou – International Group Exhibition of Contemporary Art – 16-30 Dec, Leon.

L’altrove Art Gallery – “Ritratti di memorie” (tr: “Portraits of memories”) – Ferrara.

“Celeste Prize”, Selected for publication (painting: “Abandoned Circe”).

“Art Gallery Prize” Finalist at the first Edition – Milan.

Brick Lane Gallery , “Art in Mind”, 24 Nov–7 Dec, London.

Villa Magdalena Art Gallery – “Couleurs de l’art, Couleurs de l’ame” – Permanent Exhibition

Il Borgo Art Gallery – “The Art of Nude” – International Exhibition of Contemporary Art, 27 April – 10 May, Milan.

Il Borgo Art Gallery – “Fuori Salone 2010” – International Exhibition of Contemporary Art – 13-26 April, Milan.

Villa Magdalena Art Gallery - “Voyage Dans la Couleur” - 4 April-3 June, Nice. France

Associated News

Associated Exhibitions

SOFA Expo Chicago 2017
Returning to SOFA to exhibit exhilarating new work by a group of both established and emerging artists
November 2 - November 5, 2017
SOFA Chicago 2016
Come see the newest work by some of our artists that we will be offering at SOFA Chicago
November 3 - November 6, 2016