TITOLO SITO

Raphaella Beatrice Spence was born in London in 1978.

 

When she was only a few months old she moved with her family to France where she spent the first eight years of her life.

In 1986 Spence returned to London where her interest in art began to emerge. Spence became inevitably influenced by the many architectural projects and especially by the almost photo real renderings in pencil and watercolor done by her father Milton and her grandfather, internationally renowned architect, Sir Basil Spence. 

At the age of twelve her family decided to move permanently to Todi (Italy) and bought and restored an old medieval mill in the Umbrian countryside. Spence completed her studies in Rome at the St. George's British International School. 

Spence began to paint oil paintings depicting landscapes inspired by views of the Umbrian countryside and focused above all on perfecting her painting technique which was fundamental for the creation of hyperreal paintings. 

A few years later, in 1999, she met the hyperrealist painter Roberto Bernardi at an exhibition and who would soon become her husband. They began to work together in their studio in Todi and in that same year Spence held her first solo exhibition in Italy.

In 2003, at the age of twenty-four, she exhibited in New York in her first solo show at the Bernarducci.Meisel.Gallery, a gallery with which she would continue to exhibit during the following years.  Spence also participated in the exhibition entitled "Iperrealisti", her first major museum exhibition at the Chiostro del Bramante in Rome curated by Gianni Mercurio where she was commissioned by the American car manufacturer DaimlerChrysler Group, to paint a painting which represented a PT Cruiser, their latest car on the market.

In 2004, Spence rented a studio in New York on the 73rd street together with Roberto Bernardi and there she worked on a series of paintings for the American market. Her works were inspired by aerial views of the great American cities such as New York, Las Vegas, Miami, etc.

In 2005 she returned to Italy and produced together with her husband and artist Roberto Bernardi twenty large paintings that represented scenes of football fans at stadiums and social scenes, all executed with incredible skill and attention to detail. Some of these works were exhibited at the Musei Capitolini in Rome and donated to the UNHCR where they were then auctioned by Sotheby's and Christie's.

In 2007, the two artists painted a large oil painting of the German model Nova Meierhenrich standing in front of a painting by artist Caspar David Friedrich at the Hamburg Museum for a German collector.

From 2003 to 2010 Spence participated, together with the pioneers of the hyperrealism movement, in many art projects funded by American and European collectors, in several cities worldwide.

Among the various projects are the "Prague Project" in 2003, the "Zurich Project" in 2007, the "Monte Carlo Project" in 2008, where Spence painted different aerial views of Monte Carlo during the Formula One Grand Prix and in that same year participated in the "Beijing Project" where Spence painted for an important American politician and collector two hyperreal oil paintings of this Asian metropolis during the 2008 Olympic Games.

All the paintings created in these projects by the various artists of the hyperrealist movement were then exhibited in group exhibitions at the Bernarducci.Meisel.Gallery and the Louis K. Meisel Gallery in New York.

Since 2012 Spence has been taking part in an international tour that began at the Kunsthalle Tübingen Museum in Germany and continued with another 13 venues in international museums such as the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Spain), the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (England), the New Orleans Museum Of Art, (U.S.A.), the Oklahoma City Museum Of Art (U.S.A.), the Museo De Bellas Artes De Bilbao (Spain), the Kunsthal Museum Rotterdam (Netherlands), the Tampa Museum Of Art (U.S.A.) and many others.

From 2018 to 2019 Raphaella Spence took part in a travelling exhibition on hyperrealism at the prestigious CCBB Museums in Brazil, (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil), the first venue in 2018 was held in Sao Paulo and in 2019 the exhibition moved to Brasilia to then close in 2019-2020 at the headquarters of the CCBB Museum in Rio de Janeiro. This exhibition in its three venues, much visited by the Brazilian public, reached almost a million visitors.