about me

Manlio Noto, 46 years old, Italian from Palermo (Sicily), has always had two big passions in his life. The first one is music and is well known to many people, as he has been playing for over 20 years all around Sicily. The second one followed a joyful and passionate feeling and it’s painting.
In the last three years, Manlio turned his passion in a professional activity. He paints “as a musician” and is totally apart from any academic standard. He translates music in paintings and this work shines through the faces of the 30s and 40s great bluesmen like John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Eric Dolphy.
Taking inspiration from old photographic documents, he’s able to faithfully recreate the atmosphere of those times. He uses black and white, as photos were in those years made by jazz and blues.
He started painting on boards, moving then to canvases, using acrylic colours.
Dry black strokes on the background, overlapping whites, sensual curves and rough details to recreate human expressions. Full lips and big noses for black musicians, wrinkled fingers caressing instruments, layers of white, one on another until he reaches the perfect light, a photo-like light.
Manlio Noto loves to tranfer the intense musicality from photos onto canvases: musicians are one thing with instruments and their expressions are true to life. It’s like they are about to come out from the canvas and start playing in front of you.
Manlio has recently started to use his own photos, taken during jazz and blues concerts around Sicily. He catches monochromatic lightings from the stage in order to recreate them on the canvas.
The big change is in moving from black and white to colour painting.
Musicians are still the main subject of his painting, but they are now caught under a warm light. Red, purple, yellow lights but black remains the base for multicolour layers to curve subjects and light them up.
Manlio Noto amazingly uses acrylic colours in order to shape figures obtaining the typical effect of oil painting.