NOTES

Who am I

I was born in Turin on December 28th in 1962 by the name Ranieri, but given my Tuscan origins, I naturally became Nëri, which I also chose as my alias. I am mainly dedicated to Painting, but also to Sculpture and Applied Arts. This fluid way of understanding Art to 360 degrees as well as working on multiple topics, has allowed me to travel and learn about many different cultures: Europe, States United States, Middle East, China, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, etc... I think that all of these "nomadic" experiences between various disciplines and cultures always keep reappearing in my work thanks to a magical osmosis and that before expressing yourself with your art, you must try to make your own life interesting... probably the artwork will benefit from this effort.

*(The two little dots on the letter "e" are not a dieresis, but geometric shapes which are also linked to my work. At the same time, they are a tribute and a sign of membership in an art school that used them in their compositions. Also, in Tuscany, Neri is pronounced with a grave accent on the "e". Moreover, my family crest has three spheres in it, but being a rebel I have the three dots in my name, two of them on the "e" and on the "i". Finally, being in love with the old Citroën DS because it is the only car in the world which has been designed by a sculptor, I am proud of having the same dots on my "ë"!)

MY WAY

As a child, they used to ask me what will I be in the future, and I used to answer: "as at present". I didn't want to be an astronaut. I remember being fourteen and my first study of a church aisle in exchange for a painting. I painted a large picture with outsiders and prostitutes around a fire, untitled "It may be the last supper". Of course, they never hung it. Perhaps they expected a traditional "Last Supper". Then, the years of the study above a restaurant open until late at night, in exchange for one painting a month. A pay-by-the-hour room or rented to theater people on tour, where I met crime reporters, actors, gangland lawyers but also great artists such as Dario Fò, Franca Rame, Ruggeri, Albertazzi, etc… Young, naive and enthusiastic, I absorbed any nuance and detail like a sponge, I listened, I talked and discussed until dawn. It was my world, the life I wanted. The fault was my grandmother's, the first bad seed (so to speak, daughter of a Carabiniere on horseback who suddenly dropped everything to try his luck as a "pirate" on a ship that sailed the South Seas... my grandmother's name was Jolanda, just like the Black Corsair's daughter. Probably not a coincidence). She was a great intellectual and a talented painter, to whom I used to steal the sheets to paint on them. I think about my younger self, about my pilgrimages through Italy and Europe just to get to know Vedova, Munari, Scanavino, Tinguely, Bacon (naturally to the pub). I think about my artisan friends who transmitted me their knowledge. Without them I would not be able to weld, work stone materials, carve wood, engrave... when I take a chisel in my hand or another tool, they are with me. And I think about my teachers, about the way they made me angry when they forced me to unlearn to draw, then taught again by using the brain and not only by trusting in my gift. "Wax on, wax off" (teacher Miyagi/cit. from Karate Kid). I learned to control myself, to dominate my impetuous and volcanic impulses. Probably not enough. The fistfight with my sculpture teacher whose name I don't even remember, has become epic, just like my expulsion from the Academy. But I had my good reasons, and I would do it again. On the other hand even "Ezra and Ernest" from A Movable Feast by Hemingway used to do the same, didn't they? As expected, I skipped meals to buy tubes of paint, but then I have been able to afford whole lots and eat in the best restaurants in the world. I hitchhiked, traveled on vehicles that are difficult to describe and even imagine, ladies carrying big cages of chickens invading my sit, when I was trying to see the Great Wall of China from my window. But I also owned Ferraris, traveled in first-class and with private jets, up to renting a cargo plane (all for me), so that my works could arrive the next day to an emir. I dealt with people of all nationalities and colors, shared food and ideas with everyone, whether they were truck drivers or sheiks. I managed to work in the most unthinkable places: airplanes, large cities, hotels, war sites, old military bases, desert, everything and always in the name of my dreams and Art, working for everyone and with everyone, without any distinction nor prejudice: weapon dealers, musicians, politicians, actors, footballers, intellectuals, poets, architects, sheiks, poor and billionaires. All of them transmitted me something in their own way. Sometimes I was welcomed in difficult countries with pointed machine guns and suspicion, but I knew it, the "Farnesina" warned me. Others with great ceremonies and honors. In a few hours I went from tropical climates, with shirts stuck on the skin, to arctic climates, I have seen unforgettable metropolises and marvelous sunsets, met special people of all races and classes, made friends. There have been supportive and enduring women, even when they did not understand that sometimes when I looked out the window "I was already working". Others made my life more interesting but complicated ( the ones I fancied, the ones good for the ego, the important ones and that taxi of women that I really loved). A son that I raised alone who gave me rules and schedules. I dealt with art all-round, painting, sculpture, applied arts, design, realized the humblest things as well as great works (even gadgets for the post-Gulf war), always with the same enthusiasm. In Asia I supported governmental projects involving children who prostituted themselves, teaching them a job, finally making them play and study, so that they wouldn't go back to where they had been collected. In my opinion, this is Art. I painted, sculpted, welded, engraved, drawn, designed, written, suffered and rejoiced. I never tried to do just a pleasant job, I wanted it to be meaningful above all, always trying to be outside the box. I have had small and uncomfortable offices as well as very large ones. Shoveled mud, works, machinery, documentation and my own history, when a river invaded my studio, but I was there. Made almost industrial productions with teams of collaborators. At that moment I wanted to do my art that way, learning the most distant things from an artist who loves poetry: organization, planning, business, quotes, strategies, accounts. This existence of mine is found on my "work", all of this is part of the big plan of life, since we are all a bit of everything and at the same time its opposite: crazy, selfish, generous, ingenious, naive, boring, funny, vagabonds, unfaithful, revolutionaries, reliable, poets. I never succeeded and I never wanted to distinguish between Art and Life, for me it is all one... "etcetera, because the soup gets cold"*. (Leonardo Da Vinci / cit. From the Arundel Code)*

Mission

Keywords: Eclecticism and Contamination
As an explorer of sensations, I work on a draft of emotional sediments by recording them into an imaginary continuous tape. I think of a "segment" that will end where another will begin...

Path

1976 I started my artistic high school. My teachers were Piero Ruggeri and Gino Gorza (who would have been monitoring my work for the following years). I was really fascinated by the Bauhaus movement. I started to work with the NP2 Group until 1984, then project work until 1994. I visited Emilio Vedova, Alberto Viani, Emilio Scanavino's studios. I spent much valuable time with Bruno Montanari. Admitted with top marks to the Academy of Fine Arts, I followed attentively the post-war American art classes by Francesco Poli. After a violent argument with a sculpture teacher, I was expelled. Study stays in London and Paris, where I met Bacon and Tinguely. I set up my first exhibition at a friend of mine's place and I exhibited some works at the Faculty of Architecture. I then subcontracted a large order in embossed copper for the Government Palace of North Yemen.
1985-1987 I opened my own studio. I was looking for new job opportunities and I visited architectural firms all over Europe, while dealing with integration of the Arts. I exhibited at the Cloister "S. Filippo Neri", presented by Gino Gorza. I thought about "habitable sculptures", which thanks to an illuminated client will become "exhibition cells" in Milan / Cologne trade fairs and I perform in various private homes. I work for Must De Cartier.
1988-1990 I presented some "useful sculptures" (furnishing for "habitable sculptures") and the first light and stackable marble table for shipments in air containers at the Salone del Mobile in Milan. Contacts in Europe, U.S.A., Japan. I inaugurated my studio's showroom in Paris. The studio will set itself up as a small factory to mass-produce these "poetic furniture"; we will have stores in the U.S., France and Italy. Landscape sculpture project for Pyramide Z.A.C. in Northern Paris. I worked in Barcelona with architect Queraltò to insert sculptures in architectural contexts. I found that my work approached a certain deconstructionism (Coop Himmelblau). I was involved in the decoration of two well-known discos.
1991-1992 That year, the interest in Japanese architecture was born in me, in particular I was fascinated by the installation of the "gardens" and by Tadao Ando. I cooperated with the NP2 Group on the design and construction of the fire curtain at the Carlo Felice Theater in Genoa. I was invited by architect Alberto Sartoris to a "sculptural comment" at the Circolo degli Artisti in Turin.
1993-1996 I worked on a project for a private residence where my intervention was born together with the architectural one, a collective action of the arts. I worked with the NP2 Group for the Ariston Theater in Sanremo. Sculpture for the Schindler Company in Luzern. I designed artistic gadgets \ (Menarini, etc...) for business promotion companies. I worked on "oxidations".
1997-1998 I designed the "Skate" sculpture table to be industrially produced, which will be then purchased by Sintesi S.p. A. which will produce thousands of units and distribute them all over the world. We stopped self-mass producing poetic objects. We returned to a less company-like and more human scale studio, we would only create unique pieces and limited editions. I was commissioned for a sculpture depicting a deer for a residential complex near the Stupinigi Park, not far from Turin. I tried to elaborate its shape in an abstract way. I worked with the Fata Group in Moscow and Riverside. Staff member in Art Gallery and exhibitor from Ferrari at Ferrari Maranello Museum / Pilat gallery Milan-Chicago.
1999-2001 Alongside traditional painting and sculpting techniques, I chose to use computer science; through computer and digital camera I could design my works and simulate any changes being made. I exhibit with Ugo Nespolo at the Società Promotrice di Belle Arti in Turin during the Fortune exhibition. The title of my work "The important thing is to sell dearly the skin" censored by the Italian furriers association. I would then change it to "Dear cow, you would have never imagined that? "... censored once more. I would endly choose the final title "Non-Comment! ". My Skate table was exhibited together with other Made in Italy-representative products (Giugiaro and Pininfarina) in Japan. I cooperated with L'Oréal for some "olfactory pictures" with their scents enclosed in colors.
2002-2003 That year I was asked to work on the new image of Robert Wan / Tahiti Perles thinking about a global project for showrooms all over the world, a product range for household items and jewelry. To do that I took a more than 70,000 km flight, my office was conceptually transferred to the plane at 10,000 meters high. Hong Kong, Beijing, Bali, Bangkok, Manila, Dubai, Singapore, etc., designing and working on board while cooperating with local structures and cultures. I designed stands and show rooms in Basel and Dubai and at the same time I presented jewels designed by me as well as objects for the Art de la Table that will be distributed in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Polynesia. I transferred the backgrounds of my traveling in Asia and the Middle East to my work, I started using bamboo and ethnic textures.
2004-2005 The partnership with Robert Wan and Falaknaz Group continues in Dubai and Basel with Karl Lagerfeld. New studio settings for important European and Middle East brands… I returned to the canvas with a series of paintings inspired by figurative elements but placed in abstract contexts. I designed objects and funded a company in Papeete thinking about the creation of a distribution in multi-brand and duty-free points of international airports. Two "figurative" monuments are commissioned from the Bertone Group.
2006-2008 I continued my research path for transposing "traditional" figurative elements into abstract contexts, I decontextualized elements of the daily "Pictorial Supermarket" and daily "Abstract Art". I presented some of these works in nine galleries of contemporary art, in Turin, London, Paris, New York, Papeete, Hong Kong, Berlin, Milan, Pisa, the vernissage being scheduled at the same time in all of the time zones. Veuve Clicquot believed in my work and entrusted me with the creation of 430 canvases (later 1500), unique pieces, inspired by the iconic bottle pictorially reinterpreted. I was invited to exhibit at the Museè d'Orsay in Paris and the Sorbonne compared me to Warhol. I created some pictorial works for companies such as Acqua Sant'Anna, Villa Sparina, Lavazza and private collections. I simultaneously continued to deal with the image of international companies. I did not stop my research on the canvas but I once again transposed the pictorial experiences into other realities from which I found inspiration for my work. I cooperated with the magazine Comunicando, taking care of the art section. I presented my "Meteorites", fragmented global sculptures, containing plastic landfill in their structure. I created the "contemporary Menhir", a sculpture made of steel and aluminum more than 5 meters high. I lived in New York, which I consider being my second home and a never-ending source of inspiration for my work, convinced that encounters, experiences, atmospheres, panoramas, cultures always emerge in the canvas... "Three-dimensional contaminations" in which I united painting and real objects, stopped just before they went through the pictorial metamorphosis, as a bridge between the past and the present. I used materials such as cans, caps, old truck tarps (the "smog as paint"), tar ... and I created works that involved multiple juxtaposed canvases and made to be shipped "by air". I painted the "continuous crucifixion", made various personal exhibitions. Two of my projects ranked first and third in a European sculpture competition, selected by the Turin Industrial Union among the participating artists for the Odysseus Prize.
2009-2010 I presented my "Continuous Crucifixion" at Palazzo Barolo in Turin, in an exhibition (also exhibiting works from Schifano, Kossut, Girardi...) during the "Shroud" Exhibition, which was welcomed at first glance by the religious Curia as a blasphemous work but thanks to the intercession of Giovanni Cordero, Minister of Cultural Heritage, it was re-evaluated as a "work of great and deep spirituality". I created lost-wax bronze sculptures of a religious nature for the Bertone chapel, made an artistic commentary for the 20th anniversary of Vasapolli & Associati. Made a large decorative corten composition for an architecture by Jean Nouvel, various sculptures and paintings for collectors.
2011-2013 I conceived the poster "Art Up", inspired by children's books and by a certain advertising. I had the opportunity to really step out of the "traditional" canvas concept, which has become a set where the main characters come out to dialogue with the viewer. It was impossible to frame that… I received an order for 17 themed sculptures in corten, 6 meters high, to decorate a facade on the Turin-Rivoli road axis. Another artistic commentary for a dental clinic and various interventions in private architecture, a large aluminum mural for the oldest industrial foundry in Nantes, France, an "Industrial Symphony" inspired by their work. I participated to the 54th Venice Biennale, to an Exhibition in the Castello di Cavour, etc… I shipped a sculpture in cast aluminum in Moscow for the french Maison Zilli.
2014-2017 The Bertoni Foundation dedicated me an exhibition in conjunction with an anthology on the Nouveau Réalisme with Spoerri, Cèsar, Artman, Rotella, etc. I then again made interventions in private architectures. I returned to New York to find new inspiration and attitudes to make my painting more decontextualized. I worked on the cover of a book. My sculpture made of bread and wine was presented at the art show "Territory and Sacredness, Langhe Bene Unesco". I created one of my works with the participation of children at the Risorgimento Museum in Turin. And of course I always devoted myself to interventions in architecture.

Exhibitions and Partnership

Gallery: Circolo degli Artisti/Torino, Gall. Bianca Pilat/Milano/Chicago, Gallery Angel Yama/Osaka, Musée d’Orsay/Paris, Promotrice Belle Arti/Torino, Galerija Napredka/Solkan, Galleria L’Occhio di Cristallo/Cuneo, Anna Kustera Gallery/New York, Biennale di Venezia, Palazzo Barolo/Torino, Galleria Il Triangolo/Torino, Galerie L’eclaireur/Paris, Galleria Arx/Torino, Paolo Tonin Arte Contemporanea/Torino, Charlick Art Gallery/London, Galerie VERI Tahiti/Papeete, Noy Center/Milano, The AAF/New York, Martin Arte Internazionale/Torino, Palazzo Lomellini/Carmagnola-To, Non Permanent Gallery/Torino, Castello Cavour/Santena-To, Raandesk Gallery/New York, Palazzo Arduino/Courgnè To, Galleria Velan/To, Castello di Montaldo-To, Galleria Internocortile/To, Fondazione Bertoni/Saluzzo-Cn, Palazzo del Risorgimento/To, etc…
Company: Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin/Paris, L.M.C. International-Les Must de Cartier/FR, Arpage Etudes de Paysage/Paris, Poggenpohl/DE, V.C.P. Hotel du Marc/Reims, Sociètè Montuni/Montecarlo, Rambaudi Industriale/Grugliasco-To, Luxury Ltd., Hong Kong, Schindler Ebikon/Luzern, FATA Group/Moscow/Riverside/Beijing, The Beers/GB, G.F.T. France/Paris, Barkat Group/Dubai, Acqua Sant'Anna/To, Gruppo Bertone/To, Falaknaz Investment Group/Dubai, Sisvel/None-To, Bus Company/To…
Other: Torino Design/Tokio, Coll.Ghini/Ferrari/Maranello-Mo, Coll.Acerbis/Bergamo, Coll. Marco Airoldi, Coll. Lavazza, Coll. I. Huppert, Coll. J. Cortes, Coll. J. Depardieu, Bread & Butter/Berlin, Corso Como 10/Milano, Maison Zilli/Paris/Moscow, etc…

Curators and Journalists

Giovanni Cordero, Michele Bramante, Belloni, Susanna Bonati, Patrizia Bottallo, Matteo Bozzi, Giacomo Bramardo, Gianni Bretto, Mirella Cagliero, Marina Cassi, Nicole Cohen, Guido Curto, Francesco Frullone, Mariano Galeazzo, Olga Gambari, Gino Gorza, Paolo Levi, Brunella Manzardo, Giorgia Cassini, Angelo Mistrangelo, Monique Mizrahil, Rocco Moliterni, S. Perrone, A. Piazza, Mario Pisano, Marco Traverso, Darko, Elizabeth Thrush, Scilla Velati, Paolo Viotti, Mika Yamaji, Vittorio Sgarbi, ecc...