Tito Marci was born in Rieti in 1966. He lives and works in Rome. Towards the end of the '80s he became involved with the Pittura colta scene in Rome and started directing his work towards new expressions of representational painting. He has exhibited his paintings in one-man shows and taken part in several joint exhibitions in Italy and abroad. Over the course of time, his explorations in painting have focussed principally on the theme of the self-portrait: the self-portrait as experience of self and, at the same time, of what is other to the self, ie a reflection of the defamiliarization of the ego and of the places of the mind, a moment of re-drawing/withdrawal of and from the self. In this vision, the self-portrait is simply the image of a disappearance, a removal, a cancellation; a testimony of what continues to be absent (“I see myself where I am not”), the effect of a paradoxical return to a continual non-presence. If there is any autobiography, this is always directed towards an “elsewhere”. The most recent phase of his work introduces a reflection upon the theme of the icon. The icon as a place where the expressive force of an image emerges in its ability to elude or defy its own representation. The icon is cited and indicated as a constant interplay of presence and absence, the presentation and disappearance of the face. The technique makes use of the traditional rhetorical tools: wood, gold leaf and writing. However, there is a continual attempt to snatch the image away from mere representation, from the “rhetoric” of appearing. Ancient Greek and Armenian recur as languages of otherness and unfamiliarity, as symbols relieved of the mere conveyance of information. The fragments and quotes from the Ancient Greek (Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides; Homer, Hesiod, Plutarch) speak of exile and hospitality. The are the external traces of a clandestine, deep-buried communication, conveying a meaning which is foreign, enigmatic and obscure; words which do not make a statement, but which record the “voice” of the other, “sheltering” it in its unfamiliarity. These faces bear signs, marks, wounds, stigmata: they are chosen places which outline and thus record the ever-present disappearance of self.