Paolo Campa (pseudonym for Paolo Alberto Campanile) 1964 - was born in Lugano, Switzerland into a family of renowned hoteliers. He attended mandatory schools and construction design schools  in Lugano. The Campanile family, during the 60’s to the 90’s, were particularly well Known in Ticino and throughout Switzerland for their work in the hotel-restaurant business, as well as abroad and overseas in Hawaii and the Seychelles Island.  In spite of this, Paolo Campa instead has always been attracted solely to art.  This is largely due to his particular innate predisposition for drawing and painting.


It should be noted that he follows in the tradition of his older cousin Dario, who was born in 1948. At the age of thirteen, delighted with left over tubes of paint from his cousin, young Paolo painted his first oil painting, an art work small in dimension , entitled, “Candela”.  But it was only in 1985 that he began a serious self-taught phase, in essence, with the intention to paint.  And so, it is since 1997 that Paolo Campa has professionally painted, exhibited and teaches in private schools. 

In Paolo’s family there are three artists who carry the name Campanile and therefore in the same year 1997, he changed his name to Campa, an affectionate nickname conferred upon him by friends when he was just a youth.


Initially, in his youth, at the beginning of his artistic career, Paolo Campa was most certainly influenced by his cousin, who at the time frequented the ateliers of De Chirico in 1967 and that of Salvador Dalì in 1973. But, Later on, Paolo Campa took a mature path of his own and was influenced by great artists and colorists of the nineteenth century, such as the American, John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Segantini, as well as other contemporaries, such as Lucian Freud, Alex Katz, Claudio Bravo and Gerhard Richter. In absolute, his favorite artists, like himself pursue renewal in continuity.


Paolo Campa exhibited for the first time in 1987, participating in a group show at the gallery “Poltera” in Lugano, followed by many other singular personal exhibits.  In 2003, his art career enjoyed a significant boost when he met the curator Antonina Zaru.

Together with other young Italian artists, such as Velasco, Giovanni Frangi, and Luca Pignatelli, an exhibit was organized abroad in London and Washington D.C. Furthermore, since 2006, Paolo has also exhibited works in International Art Fairs in Bolzano, Milan and Verona, Italy.  During this time, Paolo Campa was discovered by the noted critic and curator, Maurizio Sciaccaluga, who shortly thereafter and unexpectedly passed away on june 27, 2007, at just 44 years of age.


Maurizio Sciaccaluga demonstrated enthusiasm for the art work of Paolo Campa, in particular for the portraits that he desired to include in the last exhibition he curated. The theme being “Nuovi Realismi” (New Realism) which was held at the Museum of the Palazzo San Domenico in Francavilla a Mare in the Province of Chieti.  This exhibit was later curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, who decided to repeat this exhibit at the PAC in Milan, according to the theme: “Nuovi pittori della realtà” (New Painters of Reality).  On that occasion, the exhibition was seen in conjunction whit a single admission ticket to the exhibition still curated by Sciaccaluga: “Arte Italiana 1968-2007” (Italian Art 1968-2007), which was held at the Palazzo Reale in Milan.


For Campa, other major collective and solo exhibits followed, a very important one being at the gallery See/301 in Zurich, entitled: “Die neuen Generationen im Göttengarten” (The new generation in the garden of the gods). It had nothing to do with what may have appeared at the time an interpretation of secular or pagan worship, but rather a careful analysis on the outlook of a new generation in constant change, just like the different seasons produce variety and ephemeral beauty in a garden.

                                                                                                                                                                                                             M.T.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

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