Paolo Barbieri has been working for more than fifteen years in the Italian and foreign publishing market. He collaborated with the most important international publishers, creating hundreds of book covers for great writers such as Michael Crichton, Clive Clusser, Desmond Bagley, Ursula L. Guin, George R. R. Martin, Cornelia Funke, Umberto Eco, Sergej Luk’Janenko,Lian Hearn, Bernard Cornwell, Wilbur Smith, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Herbie Brennan, Francesco Dimitri, Cassandra Clare, Giovanni Del Ponte, and many others. He created all the book covers for Licia Troisi’s works, the best-known Italian fantasy writer, the book covers of the two comic-series Mondo Emerso published by Panini Comics, and the manifesto for Mantova Comics 2009 and Cavacon 2013. In 2001 he worked in the world of animation, with “Aida degli alberi” (2001 - Medusa film/Lanterna Magica), as director of the color division for the scenographies (key-backgrounds). On this occasion he deepened his knowledge on the spreading of the colors for the scenographies, typical of American (Disney) and Japanese masters, remaining three months in Seul to direct the color division of the corean studio responsible for creating the backdrops of the animated film. Barbieri is one of the very few Italian artists who can master such a specific technique, where you can achieve the effects of oil painting with the use of acrylics. ‘’Aida degli Alberi’’ was one of the most expensive animated co-productions ever made in Europe, which returned into the limelight for some suspected similarities from the movie ‘’Avatar’’ by James Cameron (2009). In 2011 he was the first Italian Artist Guest of Honor at Lucca Comics & Games, with an anthological exhibition in the rooms of Palazzo Ducale. In the same year he published ‘’Favole degli Dei’’ (Mondadori), the first illustrated book where Barbieri became a complete author, creating both scripts and illustrations, re-interpreting the figures of Greek mythology through a dreamlike, sensual and modern style. In the 2012 saw the light another significant work: “L’Inferno di Dante illustrato da Paolo Barbieri” (Mondadori), a challenge in which Barbieri compared himself to the Supreme Poet. Over 60 fantasy illustrations showing Dante’s journey to hell populated by legendary characters. Barbieri’s next book was “L’Apocalisse illustrata da Paolo Barbieri” (Mondadori), dedicated to the last book of the Bible, famous for its disquieting symbols and prophecies on the end of time. A further evolution of style stands out in this volume, by pushing the classic fantasy towards a symbiosis with symbolic art and metaphisic. Barbieri was the first artist to have produced with Mondadori, some themed illustrated books, finally bringing, also in Italy, the tradition of making books in large format to be able to better admire details and colors of the works. In 2014 Barbieri was awarded the Golden Romics, the prestigious recognition dedicated to great international artists in the sectors of comics, illustration and cinema who have marked the collective imagination. Paolo Barbieri took part as Special Guest at the XVII edition of Romics with the exhibition ‘’ La forza e la voluttà: attraverso i Mondi immaginifici di Paolo Barbieri ‘’ a journey through the artistic career of this extraordinary illustrator.
In the last years, a lot of works of Barbieri were selected by prestigious international magazine Spectrum, the most important annual in the world which collects the best of fantasy art.
Paolo Barbieri created works with the most important painting techniques (oil colors, airbrush, acrylics, watercolors, pencils, chalks), and he is also a ‘’maestro madonnaro’’. In 2003 in the role of maestro madonnaro he won the contest of Grazie di Curtatone (MN), one of the most important themed event in Italy and in the world.