Fabio Modica was born in Catania, Sicily, in 1978. During the academic years, he was soon inspired by the classical Renaissance, and, as a Sicilian, by 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 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. In 2012, a successful cycle of works was entirely made of trash materials. 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.
Fabio Modica taught for seven years painting and interior design at the Nike Academy of Fine Art and Restoration in Catania.
His artwork has been included in many solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe, and in permanent collections, especially in England, Spain, France and Italy, where his work was included in 2016, in the MACS Museum collection. In the USA he was represented by Sorelle Gallery in New Canaan and Albany up to 2016. At present, in the United States, he is represented by the Bill Lowe Gallery, Aberson Exhibits and by Bender Gallery. In Italy by the Arionte Contemporary ART, Mirabilia Contemporary, Rope Gallery and Damiani Gallery.
From 2019 he is also represented by the Whitestone Gallery, with venues in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taipei and Karuizawa.