Valerio Murri was born in 1968 in Viareggio, Italy. He lives and works in Viareggio.
After attending Grammar School, he graduated in Political Science at the University of Pisa. During university, he started taking painting classes at what once would have been called a “free school” of painting and drawing.
He has been exhibiting since 1999, having several solo and group shows, both in public and private spaces, and taking part in Italy’s major art fairs.
In 2001 he won the Arte Mondadori award. In 2003 he was invited to the Cairo Communication Award. In 2006 he was ranked among the 100 young Italian emerging artists by Flash Art magazine. He has had reviews on Arte, Flash Art, Tema Celeste, Arte e Critica, Exibart.
Though through years he has worked also with photography (including polaroid) and sculpture, today he is only interested in painting and in its, as he puts it, conceptual counterpart, drawing. Whereas painting is more atmospheric, sometimes dirty, and can incorporate some disturbing elements (erasures, blurring), the drawings are cleaner, more detailed, and are often accompanied by captions and shown as an installation.
As for painting, he believes that at a time in which its practice might be seen as an impossible task, trying to reaffirm its possibility has paradoxically become a necessity. He is trying to create a body of work having its reason to be in itself, but avoiding falling into formalism or self-referentiality as well.
It’s not just a matter of working by subtraction: Murri believes that the painter’s daily struggle should consist in challenging categories and painterly genres and clichés in their own fields in order to create meaning. Though he doesn’t believe in the romantic idea of a coincidence between life and art, he thinks that the effort not to be pigeonholed, both as an artist and a person, might be something which resembles that.