After being exhibited at the Venice Biennale, we are ready to host the visionary works of the photographer Adam Marelli at MEC | Emotional Museum of Craco.

Adam Marelli


After completing a degree in sculpture and photography at NYU, Adam Marelli (b. 1980) spent ten years apprenticing with a master builder working on high-end residential projects in Manhattan.  During his time in construction, he built homes primarily for art collectors and artists and was a contributor to the New York Times as a renovation consultant.

Concurrently, he studied under a Zen monk for seven years. In exchange for his education he taught the younger students how to maintain the monastery. This afforded him an unparalleled understanding of both the “way in which things are made” and “how beliefs are put into practice.”

His work combines a background in construction with the study of ancient building techniques.  It looks at the influences of shamanic practices on temple architecture and how temples were designed as “buildings for visions.”  The most recent body of work explores our paradoxical relationship with the architecture of the ocean.  One part fascination, one part fear, the ocean is a polarizing landscape where the rules of geometry and human senses are challenged.

( read the complete Bio)


  • The Three Seas (Craco, Italy)
  • Between The Stars And The Sea (Venice, Italy

“Combining his background in zen meditation and high-end construction, Adam Marelli paints possibilities of water. Unlike building on land, where materials are added to create forms, his painting removes water to reveal stylized architectural forms carved into lacunae of open sea surfaces. The opening of these voids parallels the process of Zen meditation, or zazen-a minimalist, seated practice. Silence occupies emptiness to generate an immaterial landscape we may navigate from within. Here, stillness is the move.”