Giulio Zanet


“Painting is a way of being in the world, a way of verifying that you exist”

AT: Where are you from and how/why you start engaging to art?

GZ: I was born in a small village at the foot of the mountains, in Piedmont, from wonderful parents: herbalist mother who played the piano and restorer father who painted. After a very happy childhood, during the adolescence I started to feel an itch, an expressive necessity and after having tried with music and literature I have landed in painting. I started painting during my high school years and I discovered that it suited me. I haven’t stopped since that moment.


AT: When did it become serious?

GZ: It became serious immediately. I spent the afternoons and nights painting and drawing, and then I immediately understood that it was serious stuff and I should have continued doing it at least without having to stop having fun. After high school I decided to enroll at the Academy of Fine Arts and after that I started taking the first steps by doing exhibitions, then slowly you realize that you wouldn’t want to do anything else and then later on that you are not able to do nothing else. And at this point it’s too late to go back and then move on.


AT: Are there any person that have been significant in your progression as an artist?

GZ: I believe first of all my parents, who have passed down to me the love for hand things.


AT: What’s your firts approach to the work? Where does your process start?

GZ: The first thing I do when I start a new work is to “dirt” the surface throw color on it almost at random and that first chaos then generates everything else. It is as if I had to put them in order. I allow myself to be a messy and dirty child and then I try to make sense of that game. The first approach is always very free, spontaneous, not at all intellectual.

Exhibition view, Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, Milan (2018)

AT: Do you leave your work open to interpretation? Or do you think the viewer should engage with your work in a specific way?

GZ: For years I used canvas and oil paints. I can say that the support interests me relatively, I like to try painting on any surface I have available. Canvas, pvc, fabrics, wood, paper etc. Every material changes my way of working on it and this interests me. Instead, as far as painting is concerned, I have become fond of enamels and have long been my favorite medium. Then of course brushes, rollers, wooden rods, plastics, wire meshes.


AT: How do you feel while you are working? You think of the final result?

GZ: I hope my work is as immediate as possible. I am a painter, people look at my works and either they like them or they don’t like them. Either they touch something inside them or they don’t. I hope they do it but I don’t have great stories to tell or arguments to support. The content of the work lies in the work itself, in the way I made it, in the daily practice of painting because painting is a way of being in the world, a way of verifying that you exist. I let the spectator interpret what he wants because I am the first who doesn’t know how to tell them.


AT: How do you feel while you are working? You think of the final result?

GZ: Most of the time, while I work, I feel good. I feel bad when it doesn’t seem well done and then I stop myself until the result satisfies me. I don’t think about the final result, it’s simply over at some point.


AT: How do you understand when a work is finished?

GZ: A work is finished when in my eyes the colors and shapes are balanced, even if I’m not sure that ‘balanced’ is the right word.

Untitled, enamel and acrylic on pvc, 160x120cm, 2017
Untitled, enamel and acrylic on canvas, 90x70cm, 2017

AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from? Do you find inspiration outside or it’s all inside you?

GZ: I find inspiration in everything that surrounds me and I live. Everything I do, read, look. Inside and outside.


AT: Do you think art can be learned or it is something innate?

GZ: I could answer: what is art? I think a certain sensitivity is innate. You can learn to express it in some way.


AT: There are any artists that influenced your works? Why?

GZ: Of course, there have been many, there are still. But I put everyone in the big cauldron of inspiration. So many great masters, so many little details of the many jobs I’ve seen. I don’t have a favorite artist, just like I don’t have a color. I’m omnivorous.


AT: How important is for you the role of social media?

GZ: I haven’t figured it out yet. Now the social networks are very present in our lives and therefore also in work certainly play an important role of disclosure. They are useful because their work certainly has more visibility and vice versa I see a lot of other things. But this also has the other side of the coin and is valid for everything. I don’t know  if all this information are good for us or on the contrary it only confuses us and distracts us.

Scherzo, mixed media on canvas, 200x160cm, 2017
White over, enamel and acrylic on pvc, 70x50cm, 2017

AT: What’s your opinion about the contemporary art system nowadays from your point of view as an artist?

GZ: I think it’s a system like so many other systems. It exists and needs to be reckoned with. That said, I think we understand little or nothing about the art system. I work trying to do my best, with a strong sense of freedom and responsibility. What I can say is that it seems to me that the role of the artist is becoming less and less relevant, the curators, gallery owners and auctions do so; artists are becoming interchangeable and this, in my opinion, is a great impoverishment.


AT: What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art? What is the most rewarding part of working as an artist?

GZ: The hardest thing for me right now is to live with art. The fact that I earn little money. For the rest I live an enviable life, I do what I like and feel free. I continue to feel privileged despite everything. Surely the most gratifying thing about this work for me over the years has been the meetings I have had. The people and decent relationships in this life are the things that really matter, and taken away that of course the awards both of the public and of the market gratify, are the meetings that never make me regret doing what I do.


AT: What do you do outside of painting?

GZ: In addition to painting I spend time trying to make it pass in the best way. For some years I have been able to survive not having to do other jobs. I read, watch films, take walks and try to spend time with people I respect, who stimulate me and whom I love.


AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?

GZ: My goal is to be able to continue living by doing what I do, hoping to be able to earn a little more. Expectations, that before being too old I am recognized to be a great artist.

Exhibition view, Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, Milan (2018)
Giulio Zanet 
1984 Colleretto Castelnuovo (TO)
Lives and work between Milan and Correggio (RE)



BEHIND THE SCENES, curated by Lea Ficca, Matteo Di Marco, Lorenzo Madaro, LM Gallery, Latina, IT


SHAPESTORMING (with Ester Grossi), Casa della Cultura Italo alvino, Calderara di Reno,curated by Adiacenze (BO) 

PITTURA1, RaffaeleCioffiStudio, curated by Giacomo Recalcati, Lissone

INTERFERENZE (with Isabella Nazzarri ), Galleria Monopoli, curated by Arianna Baldoni, Milano, IT

ZOMBI, Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, Milano, IT


ABNEGAZIONE, Crac Gallery, curated by Chiara Ronchini, Terni, IT

TUTTO IL TEMPO CHE SERVE ( with Andrea Bruschi ), Rehealsal Project, curated by Giacomo Recalcati, Milan

POST-TRADITION ( with Guido Bisagni ), Villa Casati Stampa di Soncino, Centro Culturale P.P.Pasolini, curated by di Sara Cusaro e Marco Roberto Marelli, Muggiò (MB)


EXTREME ABSTRACT,ArteSantander, curated by Irene Finiguerra, Santander

ANOTHER PAINTINGS, curated by M. Cereda, Circoloquadro, Milan, IT

STILL NOTHING, curated by I. Quaroni, ABC-ARTE Per Maryling, Milan, IT


UNTITLED || SENZA TITOLO, curated by G. Pasi, Untubo,Siena, IT

LA REINVENZIONE DEL VIOLONCELLO, curated by F. Pergreffi, SpazioMeme,Carpi (MO), IT


USE ME, L'oeil Homegallery, Lodi, IT


LOVELESS (bi-personale Con Michael Rotondi), curated by F.Pergreffi, SpazioMeme, Carpi (MO), IT


THINGS TO DO TODAY, curated by C. Ronchini, Quatrocentometriquadri, Ancona, IT   

GROWING IN LIGHTNESS (with Sabrina Casadei) curated by R. Farinotti and C.Lio, Kaleidoskop, Berlin, DE                  

SCUSE PER VIAGGIARE, curated by R. Farinotti, Quintaofficina, Milano, IT

WRITTEN ON THE HAYS (with Ester Grossi), curated by C. Canali, First Gallery, Roma, IT


HANGOVER, curated by Ivan Quaroni, Giamaartstudio, Vitulano (BV), IT



TUTTIFRUTTI, Stecca3.0, MIlano IT

GENERATION Y, Frankfurter Westedn Galerie, FranKfurt, DE


ARTVERONA#backtoitaly, Nicola Pedana ArteContemporanea, Verona, IT


ZONA,curated by Loris Di Falco, Spazio Bigli, Milano, IT

SELVATICO, curated by Massimiliano Fabbri, Palazzo Pezzi, Cotignola 


YOUNG & FOREVER YOUNG, curated by Davide Bramante, AnnaMarraContemporanea, Roma IT

UNA VISIONE OLTRE, curated by Tobia Donà and Stefano Cagol, Adria IT

CAPRIOLE, StudioLabo, StudiFestival#3, testo di Arianna Beretta, Milano IT

LIVE LEAVES, LdFstudio, Studiestival#3, testo di Andrej Mussa, Milano IT    

ARTEFIERA, Roberta Lietti Arte Contemporanea, Bologna IT


CUM GRANO SALIS, Galleria Cantiere, curated by ArtePicena, Ascoli Piceno

CONTEXTO, curated by M. Cereda E G. Frangi, Edolo (BS), IT

BRUMA, Magma/Modulofest - Centro Climatico Marino, curated by M. Samorè, Milano Marittima (RA), IT


SETUP Art Fair, curated by S.Burratti, Galleriazak, Bologna, IT


IMAGO MUNDI – Praestigium Italia, curated by . Beatrice, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino, IT

NOVE || Davide Bramante + Nove, Riso-Museo D'arte Contemporanea Della Sicilia, Palermo, IT

DOLLY, curated by M. Cereda, Circoloquadro, Milano, IT

STO*DISEGNANDO!!!, curated by M. Rotondi, Galleria V9, Varsavia, PL

RI-FORMA, Artverona Indipendents, curated by F. Pergreffi, Verona, IT

MULTIPOINT, curated by N. Sulikova, Galleria Spp, Bratislava, CZ


LAST YOUNG, curated by A., Villa Brivio, Rossella Farinotti E Lorenzo Respi, IT

STREETSCAPE, curated by I. Quaroni and C.Canali, Comon, Pinacoteca Civica, Como, IT

PULSART, curated by A. Zerbaro Pezzin, Palazzo Fogazzaro, Schio (VI), IT

WE HAVE ARRIVED NOWHERE Transnational Pavillon Venice Biennale, curated

by F. Chiacchio, Z. Colah, S. Sharma, Venezia, IT


CRISES & RISES, curated by R. Farinotti, Istitut Francais-Palazzo Delle Stelline, Milano, IT

FRAGILE AGLI OCCHI, curated by A. Moitre, V. Invernizzi and I. Passaro, Galleria Moitre, Torino, IT

ON AIR_RADIO RAEE, curated by C. Carbone and R. Pagani, Gaia S.P.A, Asti, IT

THE SHAPE OF PAINTING TO COME, curated by I. Quaroni, Galleia Lem, Sassari, IT

GLI ELEFANTI NON SANNO SALTARE, curated by C. Lio, Galleria Delle Battaglie, Brescia, IT

SOLUZIONI PER L'USO, curated by A. Dell'erario, Betty&Books, Bologna, IT


A FRESH ART EXPLOSION, Arci Bellezza, Milano, IT

STORYBOARD, Bonellilab, Canneto Sull'oglio (Mantova), IT

SERIOUS MATTER, Galleria42, Modena, IT

CUORE DI CANE, curated by G. Perrone, Underdog Studio, Modena, IT

AAM ARTE ACCESSIBILE, Sede Del Gruppo 24 Ore, Milano, IT


PREMIO ITALIAN FACTORY, curated by C. Canali, First Gallery, Roma, IT

METROPOLITAN BABY, curated by C. Canali, A. Redaelli and E. Gravagnuolo, Galleria Previtali, Milano, IT

THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME, curated by F. Chiacchio, S. Errico, A. Bleuler, Milano, IT


TRATTI TANGENTI, curated b y A. Ghirardi, Giamaartstudio, Vitulano (Benevento), IT

DO NOT CROSS THE LINE, curated by L. Vona, Stazione Di Porta Nuova, Torino

IMAGINE, La Nuova Visione Della Generazione Anni ‘80, curated by C. Lio,

Giamaart Studio, Vitulano (Benevento), IT

(WroIU), Progetto Site-Specific Ioscatola, Spazio Estro, curated by F. Chiacchio, Bergamo, IT

Open#1, S.A.L.E, Ex Magazzini Del Sale, Venezia, IT


MASTER OF BRERA, curated by R. Bellini, Liu Hiusu Art Museum, Shangai, RPC

NEW ART NEW POP, curated by I. Zanti, Centro D’arte E Cultura Di Brolo,

Molgiano Veneto (TV), IT



ALIENS, curated by S. Curtacci, Spazio Novantanove, Venezia, IT


Multipoint Art Symposium, Nitra, Slovakia (2014), SK.

Haihatus, Joutsa, Finlandia (2013). FIN

Elepisodiopiloto, Santiago De Compostela (2011). SP

Glogau-Air, Artist In Residence Program, Berlino (2011). DE


Premio Cairo, Palazzo Reale, Milano  (2017)

Premio Lissone (finalist), Museo Lissone, curated by A. Zanchetta (2012)

Premio Paolo Parati (3°award), Imbersago (MI) (2012)

Premio Celeste (finalist), Museo Civico Archeologico, curated by G.Scardi, Bologna (2011)

Premio Italian Factory (2° award), First Gallery, curated by C. Canali, Roma (2010)

Premio Combat (finalist), Bottini Dell'olio, selected by C. Antolini, Livorno (2009)

Arte Laguna (3° award), Palazzo Scotti, Asso. Cult. Moca, curated by I.Zanti (2007)