Martello portrait - image via artmediatiq

Michela Martello


Illustration, Painting

Michela Martello
Michela Martello
April 22, 2016

Michela Martello is an Italian illustrator and painter famous for the motifs of Eastern mysticism she incorporates into her artworks. Martello was an illustrator for children’s books in her early career, but later on she decided to devote herself primarily to painting. Her work consists of large murals made for private institutions or individuals, as well as smaller paintings and mixed media pieces. Martello’s repertoire of artistic motifs is truly surprising – she combines the illustration-like imagery of animals and humans with the elements of Tibetan visual arts.

Michela Martello - Under Your Skin, 2014
Martello – Under Your Skin, 2014

Shifting Focus from Illustration to Painting

Martello was born in Grosseto, Italy and she received her Bachelor of Arts in illustration from Europe Institute of Design. She is a prolific illustrator who published her artworks in more than 30 children’s books. In the early 90s she decided to move her artistic focus from illustration to painting. She turned out to be a very successful painter and she had her first exhibitions in Milano and New York during the late 90s. In 1998, she moved to New York and became a full-time painter at Arturo di Modica’s studio, who is famous as the creator of the legendary Wall Street Charging Bull. After many years of hard work, Martello was selected by NYC American Association of women for the Emerging Women Artist. Another great success for Martello happened recently, in 2015, when MAAM museum in Rome commissioned her to paint a large triptych for their permanent collection.

In the 90s, Martello decided to move her focus from illustration to painting

Michela Martello - Offerings, 2009
Michela Martello – Offerings, 2009

Transcending Tibet

After she started her professional career in NYC, Martello became exposed to the cultural melting pot of Big Apple and her artworks gradually went through a change. This transformation was surely triggered by various cultural influences and much more diverse art scene than what she was used to. At the same time, Martello’s work became more complex and she started using a variety of different media in her pieces. Her choice includes acrylics, pencils, gesso, lace, silk, as well as many  pigments. In the last two years, the influence of Eastern mysticism was the most notable new direction in her work. In 2015, she participated in the group exhibition Transcending Tibet, which was typical for its unusual blend of colors and materials, as well as concepts. Tibetan art used to be limited to religious scopes, but in the last ten years it got transformed into an international movement.

The influence of Eastern mysticism is the most notable direction in Martello’s more recent work

Michela Martello - Time Zone, 2015
Michela Martello – Time Zone, 2015

Intriguing Mix of Styles

Martello’s art combines the mysticism of religious symbols with the straightforwardness of the illustrations which are typically found in children’s books. In her unique ways, she softens up the rigidness of religious art – her colors, hand-made fabrics, and compositions inevitably remind us of folk and fairy tales. Because of her multicultural approach to art and her great skills in both paintings and illustration, Martello gained an international recognition and she regularly participates in exhibits and art fairs throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.

The artist is represented by Azart Gallery.

Michela Martello lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Featured image: Martello’s portrait – via
All images courtesy of the artist.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016We Are InfiniteParlor Gallery, Asbury Park, New JerseyGroup
2015AquaartfairAzart Gallery, MiamiGroup
2015Time Zone Trittico MAAM, Rome, ItalySolo
2015Domesticity RevisitedPen&Brush Gallery, NYCGroup
2015Trascending TibetTrace FundationGroup
2014Wheigh Of HappinessTibet House Museum, NYCGroup
2014Understanding Media The  Extension Of Human Being.Bushwick Open Studios, NYCGroup
2013Michela Martello Sao Paulo, BrazilSolo
2013Michela Martello Seoul, South KoreaSolo
2013Urbane DecayTria Gallery, NYCGroup
2013Summer SalonRarity Gallery, MykonosGroup
2012Michela Martello Dream Hotel, MiamiSolo
2012Summer SalonRarity Gallery, MykonosGroup
2012L’Amor Che Muove Il Sole E L’Altre StelleChiesa Antica Di S. Marco E Gregorio, MilanGroup
2011Metropolitan BuddhaCappelletti Arte Contemporanea, Milan, ItalySolo
2011Primo CentroCastello Aldebrandesco, ArcidossoGroup
2011Eat ArtItalian Culture Institute, Los AngelesGroup
2011Nuovi TalentiWook And Lattuada Gallery, NYCGroup
2011Mangia L’ArteLattuada Gallery, MilanGroup
2010Art Your FoodItalian Culture Institute, NYCSolo
2010Chambers PlayersAnn Goodman Recital Hall At Kaufman, NYCGroup
2010Idols And IconsTria Gallery, NYCGroup
2010Tremuit TerraTaccori Space, MilanGroup
2009No PanicBonelli Arte Contemporanea, MantovaSolo
2009Incidenti PittoriciItalian Culture Institute, NYCSolo
2009Michela Martello Aaf Art Fair, NYCGroup
2008Small WorkTria Gallery, NYCGroup
2008Body And SoulWashington Square Gallery, NYCGroup
2008Michela Martello Aaf Art Fair, NYCGroup
2007PaxGloria Baume Space, NYCSolo
2007Sacred WaysTria Gallery, NYCGroup
2007Small WorkWashington Square Gallery, NYCGroup
2006Juried Group Exhibit Emerging Women ArtistNew York Design Center, NYCGroup
2005EvolutionMobilia Space, NYCSolo
2005Miracolo A MilanoPalazzo Della Regione, MilanGroup
2004AlleluiahCeres Gallery, NYCGroup
2003BondingEtc Gallery, New JerseySolo
2002Michela MartelloArturo Di Modica Studio, NYCSolo
2002PortaitBrooklyn Gumbo Space, NYCSolo
2001Whitout BorderGradisca Space, NYCGroup
2001DifferencesGet Real Art Gallery, NYCGroup
2000LandscapesCappelletti Arte Contemporanea, Milan, ItalyGroup
2000Michela Martello Get Real Art Gallery, NYCGroup
1998Le StanzeCompagnia Generale SpaceGroup
1997ModaGuglielmo Marconi Institute , NYCGroup