Paolo Porelli received his degree in painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. In 1990, he opened his own ceramics studio. Since that time, he has produced sculpture and functional pottery. In 2012, he co-founded c.r.e.t.a. rome, an international center for ceramic arts.
Since 2011, Porelli has participated in numerous international residency programs. Most recently in 2019/20, he was the Winter Installation residency at Arch Contemporary in Rhode Island. His solo show "From Stereotypes to Archetypes" of the works produced during the residency has been postponed due to the pandemic. From December 2018 to March 2019, Porelli was a resident at the European Ceramic Work Center in the Netherlands/ Sunday Morning@EKWC. A solo show "Protestant Madonnas" curated by André Groeneveld, at the Firma Van Drie in Gouda, presented a series of more than 200 sculptures produced at EKWC. At the beginning of 2017, he was guest artist in residence at the Jingdezhen International Studio, then in August, he was in Dehua, China for the Blanc de Chine International Ceramic Art Award residency program.
Porelli has exhibited widely in Europe, the US and Asia. This year, his collaborative project with Maurizio Tittarelli Rubboli "RefleX: figures for reflection" (right above) will be presented in a solo show at the Palazzo Ducale in Gubbio. Selected for the 61th Premio Faenza (cancelled due to Covid), it is an installation of 29 terracotta figures glazed with in-glaze lustre that extends along the diagonals of a rectangular wall to emphasize orthographically the final X of the word reflex.
The modeling of the sculptures was done by Porelli during his residency at EKWC (European Ceramic Work Center in the Netherlands). Starting from two models printed in 3-D, a plaster mould was produced to create multiples. Later each figure was slip-cast and modified to endow each with individuality. Other works made at EKWC with the same technique have been selected for the Korean International Ceramic Biennial 2021 (left above) that will open at the Gyeonggi Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art this fall. In September, Porelli has been invited to participate in "Tradizione Contemporanea", curated by Nello Teodori at the Museo Opificio Rubboli in Gualdo Tadino. He will present a larger 3-D scanned work, press molded using a 3-D milled styrofoam form.
In 2019, he was shortlisted for the "2020 Taiwan Ceramics Biennial" at New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum and for the "Cheongju International Craft Competition 2019", Cheongju, Korea for work made during the ICCA residency in Dehua, China. The "Ceramics of Europe Westerwaldprize 2019" in Westerwald, Germany included his life-size statue "La Primera" as well as the installation "Globalisation Camouflage" made in Dehua, China. His work "Triade" was also selected to participate in the XIV Biennal Internacional de Ceràmica de Manises 2019. In the summer of 2018, his work "Votive Wall" received the 2nd prize in the 38 Concurso Internacional de Ceràmica-CICA 2018", in L’Alcora, Spain. He participated with his work "Metallic Idols" in the Ceramic Art Andenne 2018", Triennial, ("Contemporary Expressions of Italy", curated by Martha Pachon Rodriguez) in Andenne, Belgium. Selected to represent Italy in the European Ceramic Context 2018 Open Call exhibition in Bornholm, Denmark, he presented the installation "Jingdezhen Quintet". Other group exhibitions include the 2nd Porzellanbiennale in Meissen, Germany, the Italian biennial, “Ceramics in Love”, 58 Mostra della Ceramica in Castellamonte and "Tra-Vasi ovvero Vasi Comunicanti, contenitore e contenuto nella ceramica contemporanea" in the Nobile Contrada del Nicchio in Siena. "Deconstructing the Conversation" at Morgan Glass Gallery in conjunction with NCECA in Pittsburgh, PA, USA included three of his figurative pieces.
Earlier solo shows include "Idols + Divinities" at Heidmann Art Salon, Haw Contemporary, Kansas City, MO, USA (2018), and "Humanae Terrae", his 2-person show with the Spanish artist, Sophie Aguilera Lester, curated by the director of the Museo Internazionale della Ceramica of Faenza, Claudia Casali, at the Honos Art Gallery in Rome, Italy (2017). His fellowship residency at Red Star Studios in Kansas City culminated in a solo show "Humankind:The Sublime & the Ridiculous" in 2016. He was also a summer resident artist at The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Guest Artist in Residence at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, artist in residency at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild and visiting artist at Kansas State University.