Artist Deep Dive: Jacopo Dal Bello
Born in Paderno del Grappa in 1989 and now based in Berlin, Jacopo Dal Bello has made a name for himself as a painter and sculptor with great conceptual grounding to his work and an exceptional eye for balance within his compositions. The artist studied at London’s Byam Shaw School of Art, the Sir John Cass School of Art and Berlin’s Universität der Künste, due to graduate in 2024.
His sculptural works often incorporate found elements, reflecting Berlin’s famous flea market scene. Dal Bello has also been influenced by Italy’s ‘Arte Povera’ movement of the 60s and 70s, which placed value on household items woven into compositions. ‘Povera’ was less of a reference to financial restraints, but rather to a liberation from traditional artistic hierarchies and priorities. Dal Bello endows his found and foraged materials with a Classical grandeur, creating a poetic dialogue within the piece and asking his viewers to question our assumptions about inherent artistic value.
Dal Bello’s artworks are collages of various motifs and many of his paintings include letters, numbers and symbols. For example, in "Fenster" (2022) the artist presents us with the head of a flamingo, a ‘window’ out into a printed landscape reminiscent of the landscapes of the Renaissance, letters and symbols like a scientific diagram and sewn details. The artist’s curatorial eye for gathering seemingly disparate visual elements connects him to the history of the German ‘cabinet of curiosities’ which emerged in the 16th century, displaying the prized possessions of wealthy collectors, often gathered from around the globe.
The artist has been praised for his compositions’ excellent sense of harmony and balance, which he achieves by not over-crowding his canvases. "Mirrored Mirrors", for example, is deeply visually impactful thanks to its limited elements’ precise positioning. The swirling lines create a sense of movement among the two static motifs - deep green foliage and two printed images of hands - and its two-tone background adds to the composition’s sense of three-dimensionality.
Other artistic influences on Dal Bello have been Francis Bacon, Cy Twombly and Philip Guston. The influence of Bacon can be seen in Dal Bello’s warping of recognisable images and his blurred brushwork, as seen in "It Might Rain Tomorrow". In the painting - as in the portraits of Bacon - the solid form of Dal Bello’s dog seems to atomise. Shared with each of these artists, Dal Bello’s compositions maintain a deeply three-dimensional feeling despite their flatness, as if each motif has been suspended within a vacuous theatre stage.
In addition to visual artwork, Dal Bello has also released two musical albums - the first, ‘KNOT OT PTO OH’ in 2016 and the second ‘A.04’ in 2022. The artist also created sound artworks at the beginning of his career and a deep-rooted appreciation for the Fluxus movement and its emphasis on experimental music-making is key to his visual and musical output.
Dal Bello has been featured in group shows at Aleph Contemporary (2022), Salve Berlin (2019) and Simmons & Simmons (2014) and has had three solo shows - ‘Tratteggi Anacronistici’ at Spazio Scuderia (2021), ‘Variations on Worldmaking’ at Aleph Contemporary (2020) and ‘Elegy of the Flesh’ at 5th Base Gallery (2016).