With a mixture between Classical Renaissance and a Contemporary approach, Denver based Illustrator and Muralist Marissa Napoletano-aka-Revery Art’s paintings portray a beautiful balance of realism and fantasy. Somewhere in between reality and dream space, conscious and subconscious, there is a hazy state of existence where the goddess-like females she paints are created from. That is the space where Revery Art has come to appreciate the limitlessness of where the imagination can go.
I grew up in the small town of Colchester Connecticut, and currently call Denver, Colorado home base.
Favorite art tools to work with?
I am primarily a brush painter, with oil paint as my preferred medium, though I’ve used a lot of different techniques and like to incorporate a little of everything into my work.
What time of day do you feel most creative/productive?
It really depends on what I am working on. If I am painting I’m most productive in the early afternoon and that is usually when I have the best light. If I’m designing or sketching ideas that usually happens late at night.
Something you can’t work without?
Snacks and good music.
What would your theme song be?
Here Comes the Hotstepper.
What is your background in art?
I’ve been creating from a young age. My passion when I was younger tended towards sculptural and mixed media projects, crafting clock faces and toilet paper wedding dresses. I quickly pursued art in high school, college, and Italy. There, I explored old school techniques including egg tempera, a medium that influences the way I paint today. Once I moved to Denver I delved deeper into street art and continue to split my time between large scale murals and smaller scale paintings.
You studied in Italy, what was that experience like for you?
Italy was formative in my artistic journey because it not only represents the root of renaissance art but also my heritage. I was able to explore many different avenues in that program, teach art for the first time, and find my style and voice as a creator. While I love traveling and painting in as many places as possible, Italy will always be my true home.
How would you describe your style and how do you think it has changed/evolved over time?
I think my style is a marriage between a classical renaissance and contemporary approach. My artist name “revery” references in part the dreamy, ethereal quality that my work often has and I love the idea of exploring what the mind does when you’re not paying attention to it. While I have always been fascinated with the intersection between realism and fantasy, I have honed in on a combination of human and nature elements to explore that deeper in the last few years. When I first started painting I prided myself on being the “jack of all trades” and tried my hand at a little bit of everything. While I still love to paint most subjects, my approach has become more cohesive and focused.
Why Revery Art?
Revery came from a time in my life when I had a complicated relationship with sleep. I was at a point where I was sleeping so often and dreaming so vividly that I couldn’t always tell the difference between reality and dream space. While it was disconcerting at times, I found the limitlessness of imagination and dreaming really inspiring. I love the freedom and creativity that comes when we are not even conscious and I try to capture that feeling in my paintings.
We love the feminine theme a lot of your work has, what is it about that particular subject matter that draws you to it?
I think we all draw from our experiences whether intentional or not. Not only has being a female artist been a struggle, but being a woman in the world is always rife with beautiful and challenging moments and I like to use painting to address those things. Growing up in a family of mostly men and always being a bit more of a tomboy, I have always been in touch with my more masculine energy. Painting has been a way of appreciating the softer things I don’t always express or explore within myself.
What are some of the things that inspire you the most in your work?
The last couple years have been inspired by working through a variety of personal and global adversities. I have struggled a lot with my health which has greatly informed my perspective along with seeing anxiety mirrored on a larger scale. I have been using painting to look at the pain and beauty that comes out of growth. I love the idea of human and nature elements together to explore concepts like senses, armor, and harmony.
Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve done so far?
I have a love/hate relationship with a lot of my work. It usually comes down to the experience I had painting the piece- the people involved, the love that went into it, or the response it elicited. Some of my favorites are “Sibyl” which I completed for the Fort Collins Mural Project as it was such a supportive environment and community to work in, and “Salita” as it was for my first collection and the first time I started to paint women with strength.
What project(s) do you have coming up that we can look forward to?
I am currently working on a few murals in Denver and Florida, and a handful of new oil/mixed media paintings I hope to show in galleries. There are so many ideas I can’t wait to explore and new directions my work can take!