29 April 2020

by st-Art

The Artistic Journey of Adriano Piu

This article was originally published on Hue & Eye.

About Adriano Piu

Adriano Piu was born in Cervignano del Friuli in 1954, and now lives and works in the Ancient Village of Chiarmacis, municipality of Rivignano-Teor (Udine), Friuli, Italy. 

He is a true craftsman, with whom we had a lively chat through which he told us more about his artistic journey and life.

Early Years

“I was born with an inclination towards the arts,” he says. As a little boy, when his mom gave him some pocket money to buy snacks, he used to spend them on pastel or oil colors.

He describes this story as relevant, as from there also his mother could understand its son’s passion and give him a beautiful oil color box for Christmas that year, thank to which he could make its first painting.

As a kid, the painting was Adriano’s main hobby. Although, as happens to many creative souls, he also dragged into music. Nowadays, he still defines himself also as a musician, as he played percussions for as long as 18 years. But music would never take the same place as art in Adriano’s heart. 

Getting back to his younger years, Adriano would soon manifest his rebellious and creative attitude towards life, for which he dropped off of school and started working quite young.

His first real job found him working in a steel mill; “Here is where I learned how to craft quite everything,” he told us.

By the seventies, when in need of money, he chose to sell his percussion set to buy him a car. For this, he realized how music wasn’t such a strong passion compared to art.

About Adriano Piu’s Artistic Career

Adriano Piu formally began his artistic career in 1973, as a figurative painter. He never studied art and is still virtually not a fan of what an art school might teach. He says, “The hands-on approach is what a creative should start with, and by doing so, the passion for the history of the arts will come by itself, naturally.” This hands-on approach is what later led Adriano to sculpture.

Getting back to the 70s, this is when he began participating in his first exhibitions.

The artistic vein had then developed together with Adriano’s youth interest in working with metals. His undoubted excellence in welding technique using a variety of metals have proven to be invaluable for the implementation of its precious sculptures. This technique was still related to canvas, for which his painting was entirely a combination of symbols and metals. He started exploring formal sculptures during the nineties when he starts taking place in International exhibitions and editions of Art Fairs in Europe and the US and being recognized by essential galleries in Europe (Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and France).

It is during the ‘Artexpo ’90 in New York that he meets the owner of the Frames’ Gallery, Knokke Zoute, with whom he worked for three years participating in various exhibitions and fairs.

To Nowadays

The beginning of a long career had started, made of collaborations with galleries worldwide. To mention a few, at the 50th anniversary of the German art-gallery opening, the owner Messmer di Emendingen decides to exhibit and buy Piu various works. We may find them today in Messmer Foundation collection, which includes the likes of Max Bill, Georges Braque, Salvador Dalí, Otto Dix, André Evard, Günter Fruhtrunk, Francois Morellet, A.R Penck, Pablo Picasso.

His other artworks are in the Miniatur Museum in Amsterdam, in the collection of VP Bank Vaduz (Liechtenstein) and at the Gallery Colours de Temp, Geneva (Switzerland) together with Dorazio, Dova and Santom. 

In 2005 the writer and painter Milena Milani (companion of the great Carlo Cardazzo) personally organized Piu’s exhibition in Albissola Marina. On this occasion, the pieces in the show are his ceramic works, for whom he starts to be well-known.

His last works, MOVIMENTO INTERLOCUTORIO (first works above), are innovative mobile works in which the artist makes the audience interact, allowing them to move parts of the work itself to his liking, BECOMING A PART OF THE OPERA. Despite what one should do, staring at an artwork in a museum, Piu encourages people to touch and interact with his artworks.

About Rinascita, Adriano Piu’s Ultimate Artwork

Adriano has ultimately realized an exclusive artwork about the recent topic of Coronavirus, titles RINASCITA (Rebirth).

“Why a big mask? Because I consider it a shield for the defense that we humans have in this global war, which obliges distance and denies contact.”, he explains.

Adriano will divulge the whole amount of the sell to Santa Maria Della Misericordia Hospital in Udine and will be promoted through st-Art Amsterdam’s initiative st-Art together (#start_together).

To view more of Adriano Piu’s work, go here.


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