At the moment Rome is offering some of the most stimulating historical art shows in the world. That its private galleries have always concerned themselves with live contemporary shows is known only to a few elect who are vitally interested in following the scene, none of them tourists. As a painter myself, and as a critic busy first in New York and later in Rome, so familiar with both worlds for decades, I have often mused about them in print. Most of my friends are artists here, and I got to know them through art, in galleries and private gatherings.

Mary Wilsey, the editor of Wanted in Rome, has asked me to choose some among them to create covers for the magazine. (You may have noticed I have done some myself in the past.) Making cover art by hand for magazines is an approach that is getting ever rarer on the planet. It is a special approach: your image must catch the eye and deliver a special punch which is easy to understand and in a subliminal way moves you to cry Ha! and smile, or cry. Professional photos are striking and timely, but efforts by easel artists and professional illustrators tend to be more immediately fresh and winning.

I have chosen ten committed artists now active in Rome. They all show regularly in the private galleries and contemporary museums and are part of a community of awake, hip personages not only aware of new directions, but also making new discoveries themselves and seeking adventures of their own.

A critic (Enzo Bilardello) has called Primarosa Cesarini Sforza, our first cover artist,