Valerio Sarnataro (Carmagnola – Turin, 1986), aka Erk 14, declares himself an artist by chance and not by choice. He began his career working in communication agencies between Naples, Rome and Milan, creating his own streetwear brand and collaborating as designer for other fashion brands.
He bumped into acrylic painting on paper and canvas being questioned by his inner thoughts. In the shadow of a private and silent domesticity, his artworks, firstly black on white, then white on black, give voice to encoded messages, riddles full of meaning and irony that transform objects collected, buried, lost and found, in an instant journey beyond reality. Concise titles, as well as the precise and clear lines of his works, are opposed to a great magma of interpretations. Simultaneously symbolic, surrealist and pop, subjects that inhabit and animate his canvas vibrate in a dancing dialogue made of messages that are heavy, sharp or so soft to make us climb a ladder in the clouds. But there is a shift in the last period, colour covers artworks with bright hues, which are as vivid as the flames that occasionally light up his canvases and the eyes of the beholder. Through a long and thoughtful composition, adjusted with a quick realization phase, Erk14 manages to trigger new horizons in collective imagination. Erk 14 delivers episodes of innocent emotion, as in the novel by Orhan Pamuk, in which objects turn from witnesses of an individual memory into vehicles of universal emotions.