Published by Notizi Arte
12 June 2024
Written by Mario Esposito
Edited by Mario Esposito and Antonio Barbato


See the original article published in Italian


See the pdf version in Italian


Giuseppe Veneziano

In contemporary art, few artists manage to blend provocation and reflection like Giuseppe Veneziano. With his works, Veneziano challenges conventions and invites the public to deeply reflect on the world around us. Born in Mazzarino in 1971, he is one of the most influential artists on the contemporary Italian scene. After completing his studies in architecture, he dedicated himself completely to art, developing a unique style characterized by an incisive and often controversial visual language. Veneziano's works range from painting to sculpture, with a bold use of color and a predilection for social, political and cultural themes. His creations are not afraid to tackle taboo topics and challenge public opinion, making him an artist as loved as he is discussed.


We had the opportunity to speak with Giuseppe on the occasion of his latest exhibition at the Galleria Fabbrica Eos. Veneziano, known for his provocative style and his reflections on contemporary society, shared with us his experiences, his ideas on digital art and his future projects.


Your latest exhibition was held at Galleria Fabbrica Eos during Milan Design Week. Can you tell us more about this exhibition?


Giuseppe Veneziano:This exhibition somehow reveals my two souls. Because, I don't know if many people know, I am an architect. Until a few years ago I was also registered in the register. And so this exhibition wanted to represent these two passions of mine which in some way merged. I wanted to showcase my soul as an architect as well as that of a painter.



You began your journey as an architect and cartoonist. How have these experiences influenced your artistic career?


Giuseppe Veneziano:When I studied architecture in Palermo, in the afternoon I went to the Giornale di Sicilia and made cartoons on political, social and news events. I consider this aspect fundamental for my path because it was necessary to tell a fact quickly and concisely. So this narrative element, this synthesis of the image to tell as much as possible, was an excellent training course that I was able to do during my studies. I believe the training of an artist is fundamental and characterizes his language. My training therefore did not pass through fine arts academies, but was transversal, between comics, political satire and cartoons..”

Giuseppe Veneziano

You've also been experimenting with NFTs in recent years. Can you tell us about the “10 NFT” exhibition in Cernobbio and how you started working with this technology?


Giuseppe Veneziano:That was an exhibition organized by Aldo Premoli, which he defined in the press release as the first public exhibition of NFTs. Not that there hadn't been works exhibited publicly before, but on that occasion the totems were also designed and we had to study how it was possible to publicly show an installation exhibition. Because it is one thing to use the advertising panels and display the image, it is another to actually design the installation of the exhibition. There was the problem of lights and water since the totems were outdoors. It was a test bed to see how an NFT exhibition could be installed and it was a brilliant intuition of the curator Aldo Premoli. Let's say that the credit is divided in two.


Two years ago you said that you do not feel like a protagonist, but a witness to blockchain art. What changes have you noticed in the world of NFTs and digital art since then?


Giuseppe Veneziano:The discussion on NFTs is quite complex. It's a tool for digital art, which wasn't invented now. Already in the 70s and 80s there was talk of digital art. The blockchain has made it possible to give an identity to files, allowing them to be commercialized. Previously, you could copy the file freely, making it difficult to distinguish the original from the copy. Eventually, NFTs gave the opportunity to commercialize. The digital art market was invented, not digital art itself. Then, with the cryptocurrency crisis, NFTs also suffered a decline compared to the initial enthusiasm. We are now in a transition phase, and we can observe what will happen


Many artists are returning to the physical after a period of enthusiasm for NFTs. What do you think of this phenomenon?


Giuseppe Veneziano:Motta, for example, was my initiator into the world of NFTs and he too is now returning to the physical. Those who come from the physical world live the two dimensions in parallel, it is easier to move from the physical to the digital than those who I consider the true protagonists of NFTs: the digital native artists, who have an expressive language with unlimited potential compared to ours, even if the physical art has endured for 5000 years and will continue to do so. Digital is a development, but it cannot replace physical art.


You talked about your experience with dynamic and multimedia elements. How do they value your work?


Giuseppe Veneziano:Digital also serves to further enhance physical work. Many simply digitized the work by taking a photo and trying to sell it. For me, physical and digital are two different entities. I added dynamic elements such as video and sounds. The works have two different values ​​for me. Many artists thought it was easier to sell their work using NFTs, but this leads to a much more confusing context that risks losing the message that the artist wants to communicate”.


What is your opinion on AI-based generative art? Have you ever used it?


Giuseppe Veneziano:No, I haven't used it. I saw things that even scared me a little. As always, it depends on who uses the tool. I wrote a few prompts to see what he developed. It surprised me how a computer can translate words into images. Not using it assiduously, I can't express much. I believe that it is the artist who holds the tool in his hands that makes the difference regarding the output that is generated”.


What are your next projects? What should we expect?

Giuseppe Veneziano:Soon I will organize an exhibition that includes physical works and NFT works. I like that in an exhibition there will be both types. I'm waiting for confirmation, but it should be done in the last months of 2024. A sculpture is also being prepared to be displayed at the beginning of the exhibition which will welcome visitors. We'll see how it goes, I'll keep you updated.”




Giuseppe Veneziano's Biography

Giuseppe Veneziano, born in 1971 in Mazzarino, Sicily, graduated in Architecture at the University of Palermo and moved to Milan, dedicating himself to painting, architecture, sculpture and teaching. His artistic career took off in 2004 with the “In-Visi” exhibition in Milan, where he exhibited a controversial portrait of Maurizio Cattelan, earning him the cover of “Flash Art”. Veneziano represents reality directly, addressing current and controversial topics, believing that omitting the negative means telling a partial reality. During the pandemic, he creates "The Creation of Infinity", inspired by Michelangelo, with a surgical mask, a symbol of global change. His works reinterpret historical subjects, connecting them to the present, and see contemporary Pop Art as dynamic and influenced by social media. Despite the irony, his works cause a stir. As Veneziano says: "If one of my works causes a sensation, perhaps it is reality itself that causes a scandal." Recognized as one of the main exponents of "New Italian Pop" and of the "Italian Newbrow" group, he lives and works in Pietrasanta, leaving a significant mark on the contemporary artistic panorama.

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