Gaetano Grillo

Contaminations - 1997



Gaetano Grillo was born in Molfetta in 1952. He starts painting as a child, when he lives in Puglia countryside, taking part to the farming activities of his family. He studies at Istituto Statale d'Arte in Bari and, since 1971, at the Brera Academy (Milan), where he enrolls in Alik Cavaliere's sculpture school, where he experiences new artistic languages; he is interested in the conceptual theories
and in
Land Art. Very soon he feels the urge to come back
to painting, what he does with the exhibition
Lectio Historiae, at La Bussola Gallery in Bari; through these paintings, like large collages, he affirms the possible coexistence of different identities, a theme that will last for always. In 1976 The solo exhibition Sono felice quando dipingo (I'm happy when I'm painting) at Galleria Solferino is a declaration of poetics and a decisive choice too.
In 1979 he begins a long teaching career at Milan's Liceo Artistico and two years later he represents Italy at Medelline Biennial (Colombia), invited by L. Carluccio.
In 1985 the
Stazione Centrale group is born (Grillo, Arcangelo, Francesco Bonami, Marco Nereo Rotelli
e Natà), at Enzo Cannaviello's gallery.  At the solo exhibition in Palazzo Diocleziano (Split, 1989), a paper wall two meters high and twelve long, made of five hundred painted (some containing different national flags) puts multiculturalism in the center of his vision. Next year,
the town of Molfetta devotes to Grillo a big exhibition, whose catalogue contains G. Dorfles' texts. He also starts teaching at Florence Art Academy.

At the begin of the nineties he paints the palinsesti, horizontal works where icons, signs and letters lay down, loosing their original meaning and starting a new semantic narration. At the same time Grillo is most attracted
to Egypt, developing an encrypted alphabet containing letters collected from any time and culture. In the middle
of the decade he founds, in Molfetta, the
Associazione Culturale Mediterranea onlus, in order to develop artistic communication between Mediterranean countries, shifting the focus from the european capitals to the emerging southern countries. The association promotes the exhibition Radio Tirana Fax, developing an exploring relationship with Albania which, after some exhibitions
and many new friends, will lead to the 1°
Biennale Mediterranea in Tirana (1998). The exhibition will be repeated three years later in Dubrovnik and, in 2001,
in Cetinje, the ancient capital of Montenegro.  At the National Art Museum in Podgorizza and, at a later stage,
at Bar's Royal Palace, in 2004, Grillo mounts a solo exhibition entitled
Io sono un pittore mediterraneo / ja sam jedan mediteranski slikar (I'm a mediteranean painter).
Of the same years are the exhibitions Icone (Milano, Bianca Pilat, 1997: on which occasion this video has been produced), Spirito Mediterraneo (Milano, Galleria il Milione, 1999), Fusion (Parigi, Carousel du Louvre, 2000), Territorio Gaetano Grillo (Molfetta, 2002), Egyptomania (Accademia d'Egitto, Roma, 2005), Papiri contemporanei (Torino, Palazzo Briccherasio, 2006) e Mediterranea-mente (Bari, Sala Murat, 2007, on which occasion the video Autobiographic Narration has been produced). As a happy ending of his teaching period at the Accademia Albertina
in Turin, he promotes and curates an exhibition of his best students at the Roberto Allegretti Gallery, named
Viva-io. At the sama time he founds and directs Academy of Fine Arts, a quarterly magazine distributed among italian Art Academies. During a journey to Côte d'Azur, where Picasso created his many ceramic works, in 2010 he rediscovers a passion for this language and starts producing objects belonging to the product line Mediterranea-mente. He produces several hundred pieces, exhibited at Antibes' Boat Show. Next year he starts working at a big project: publishing alfabeto grillico, shaping in clay the letters of his own alphabet, on the basis of the ancient clay tablets written in cuneiform script and discovered in the archeological dig of Ugarrit (Syria). 2011 brings the solo exhibitions at Corfù's Old Fortress, named Mediterraneo, way of life (then in Molfetta). He participates in the Biennale di Venezia in the section Puglia (S. Scolastica, Bari) and showcases a large installation at the former church of S. Carpoforo, in Milan, within the exhibition Un’altra storia. 2012 exhibitions are: Dialoghi nella città dei fiori, at Sanremo Town Museum, G&G (Centro Formentini, Brera, Milan), Color-Med unveiling Marianne Wild's new gallery in Chieti and Colore, at Desenzano Castle. Meanwhile, Academy of Fine Arts sgets a new online version and, in novembre, the new magazine is born.





Director: Gaetano Grillo

Acquisition: Lorenzo Baldi

Editing: Lorenzo Baldi

Music: Ale Guzzetti



Production Standard: SD PAL

Camera: Sony DXC-D30

Recording: Betacam SP

Postproduction: Avid Media Composer

Remastered through noise reduction and removing other recording issues, normalized audio.  Deinterlaced.