Io a Roma stands at the heart of a series of works that marked the return of De Dominicis to painting after an extended interval dedicated to sculpture, tableaux vivants, and installations. Done in reduced format, the painting is something of a self-portrait with the dark outline of the artist’s face cut out and positioned in the foreground. Despite its extreme formal simplification, it suggests the subject’s brooding, preoccupied gaze and the vertical line of the nose, a dominant physiological feature in all his subjects. The real protagonist of the work seems to be Rome, enveloped in the night’s silence and bathed in the light of the full moon projecting the long shadow of the obelisk in Piazza del Popolo onto the pavement. De Dominicis dedicated various works to city scenes, particularly, the historical centre of Rome between Via delle Mantellate, Corso Vittorio, Piazza Navona, and Piazza del Popolo. From a technical point of view, De Dominicis applied his colours quickly and directly without making preparatory sketches, limiting his colours to cold tones of gray and sky blue, in some places applied in thick layers of colour, elsewhere in thin passes through which the weave of underlying support can be seen.
Eric Mangion, Beatrice Merz, Alanna Heiss, Andrea Bellini, Laura Cherubuni, Gabriele Guercio, Marina Abramovic, Joseph Kosuth, Marco Senaldi, Gino De Dominicis, in “Flash Art International”, Giancarlo Politi Editore, Milan, June, 2007, special edition published on the occasion of the itinerant solo show staged in Nice, Torino, and New York, ill. p. 111; Gino De Dominicis alla Fondazione Merz, Quaderni, 3, Fondazione Merz, Torino 2009, exhibition catalogue (Torino, Fondazione Merz, November 8, 2007 – January 6, 2008), pages 26 ill., 42; Italo Tomassoni, Gino De Dominicis. Explanatory catalogue, Skira, Milan 2011, pp. 98, 382, cat. 374.