Painting was my first love. I painted for about 10 years in Italy. I was highly influenced by Italian Mannerism, Flemish painting (Brueghel, Bosch and Rembrandt), Goya, Symbolism and Surrealism.

I painted until 1985, when I came across my first computer.
The excitement to explore and pioneer a virgin territory gave me a sense of exhilaration.
I was one of the first digital artists, and not only in Italy. I experimented with digital painting for few years and then, in 1987 I begun exploring the virtual realities of 3D animation. Finally, in 1992, I created one of the first immersive virtual reality systems.
This journey led me to study intensively neurology, eastern philosophy and 20th Century new scientific paradigms, such as relativity and quantum mechanics.
My work and my research were fueled by my eagerness to understand the meaning of coincidences, chaos and emotions. I developed virtual and real sceneries directly connected with subjects' moods, psyche and emotions for more than ten years. Finally, I broadened my experience by experimenting with social interactions, organizing performances and setting up a psycho-bar where people could unleash their inner impulses and emotions.

After my long love affair with digital art, scientific research and the possibility to map human emotions and behaviors, painting has resurrected from my past with a new meaning.
Paradoxically, it has become the privileged medium to organize, analyze and understand the material accumulated over years of work; the space where encounters, situations, emotions and moods are transformed into a visual representation that has a material life of its own; a new world that can be explored and defined.

Los Angeles - March 2012

Mario Canali