Oliviero Fiorenzi


 “I consider a piece successful when it can speak to anyone. If my work doesn’t resonate and leaves people completely indifferent, it means I probably missed something, or simply didn’t have much to say”.

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

OF: I was born and raised in Osimo, in the Marche region, and since I was a child I have always been


AT: When did your passion for art become serious?

OF: In 2016/17, I worked as a graphic designer and set designer at the Teatro dell’Arte della Triennale. The most important work I did in that context was to design the sets and assist in directing a children’s show called “Una losca congiura, ovvero Barbariccia contro il signor Bonaventura” by Sergio Tofano, staged by Marzia Loriga with her company Teatro Alkaest. It was a very complicated job, involving elements of painting, videomapping, and animation, which kept me busy for an entire year. Although my path in the theater world did not continue, it was a highly educational work experience in many aspects. Theater teaches one to have a comprehensive project vision and thus to delegate and involve other creative voices; the level of responsibility is high, and the audience’s opinion is fundamental. After this experience, I realized that I could tackle ambitious projects, but I lacked theoretical foundations, so I enrolled in the master’s program in “Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies” at NABA in Milan, and from there, I started taking the profession of artist more seriously.


AT: Is there anyone who has played a significant role in your development as an artist?

OF: My family has always supported me in every stage of my academic and professional career. They have always backed me up in my choices. Another reference point is Alberto Bettinetti, first as a professor at the Academy and now as a friend and mentor. His teachings have been fundamental in shaping my artistic approach. And I can’t fail to mention my old collective, Turbosafary, founded together with Edoardo Caimi, Francesco Tosini, Alessandro Crippa, and Ester Bianchi. Our shared exploration has greatly contributed to both my artistic and personal growth.


AT: What is your initial approach to work? How would you describe your artistic practice?

OF: The initial approach is instinctive; something attracts me, and I may not fully understand why, but I feel that it resonates with me. This something catches my eye, perhaps in response to the questions I have in my mind. I believe it’s a matter of the perspective through which I observe the world around me at that moment. Sometimes I come across clues that require more work, while other times, if lucky, I find the key right away. However, generally speaking, if I start a new piece, it means I have identified a new subject to develop a project around. I studied Graphic Design, so my approach to work is project-based; in my practice, I start with a theme (for example, work-landscape), identify the subject, which often coincides with the object (for example, a kite), and then pragmatically build everything around it. I never think about the production of the single artifact; the work is always part of a broader discourse. My projects
always have various disciplinary levels of expression: artwork, photos, videos, books, and text; in fact, for me, it’s difficult to understand where the boundaries of the work lie.

“Do you wanna B MW GT”, 2019, Mixed material | CRASH TEST, Duo show – Oliviero Fiorenzi + Yoan Mudry, curated by Giada Olivotto and Gianmaria Zanda | Photo. Sandro Pianetti

AT: What is your goal with your work?

OF: Each of my works, understood as projects, has its specific objectives, but all my production is characterized by the responsibility to reach the audience. I always have this goal in mind, on multiple levels, both superficially and deeply. I consider a piece successful when it can speak to anyone. If my work doesn’t resonate and leaves people completely indifferent, it means I probably  missed something, or simply didn’t have much to say.


AT: What are your preferred tools and materials for work?

OF: My works vary greatly in both production techniques and materials because they engage with different contexts, and consequently, each is characterized by a different specific production. Furthermore, I also delegate a lot of production, so rather than talking about preferred tools, I would speak of indispensable tools. First of all, the computer; I use work programs daily for various purposes. As for materials, I prefer fabric, which is present in almost all of my works.


AT: What do you feel while you work? Do you usually envision the end result in advance?

OF: When I work well, I enter a state of deep concentration, an experience that I believe is common to many. I immerse myself in a state of “flow,” where time expands, and I can sit completely absorbed for hours without noticing. This almost meditative state is extremely satisfying. I read a book that explores this mental state; it’s called “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi. I have a rough idea of what the end result might look like, but many
variables come into play during the creation process. Since my works need to function—fly, float, or move—the shape is often the result of choices related to their function. Therefore, I work within the technical limitations that present themselves as constraints, and these “boundaries” during production shape the final form of the work. In short, although I start with an initial idea, the creative process is a continuous dialogue with the practical and conceptual challenges that shape the final result. The form of my work always emerges from its intrinsic function.


AT: How do you know when a piece is finished?

OF: The work is finished when its obsessive power is exhausted, when I can look at it with detachment.

0.0+0.1, 2023, Site-specific kinetic installation, Mixed Media, 160x300x340 cm | Presented on the occasion of “Buona Fortuna Ribelli”, group exhibition at Lunetta 11, Mombarcaro, 2023 | Photo The Artist
IL CASO – Il Vento, 2022, Mixed Media, 210×70 cm | Photo Matteo Natalucci 

AT: Where does the inspiration for your work come from?

OF: I don’t believe much in the artist’s inspiration in the conception given by the common vision, that is, as a direct and innate knowledge of truth; in other words, I don’t believe in the artist who is suddenly struck by inspiration and knows what to do. This rarely happens; more often, it is a matter of having questions in mind and being good at finding the clues that allow you to solve the work. The research has a slow pace.


AT: Are there artists who have influenced your work? Why?

OF: There are many artists who influence me, and they are very diverse due to my multidisciplinary approach. I’ll mention some in no particular order as they come to mind: Tadanori Yoko, Matt Mullican, Bruno Munari, Alexander Calder, Susumu Shingu, Öyvind Fahlström, John Baldessari, Ellsworth Kelly, César Manrique.


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

OF: It’s important for me; I believe that an emerging artist should be on social media because it clearly provides a lot of visibility. However, one must be careful not to become solely a social media manager of oneself and not to think that everything is only online.


AT: What is your opinion on the development of Web 3.0 (NFTs, Metaverse, etc.) and their impact
on the art world?

OF: There was a very interesting moment more than a year ago when it seemed that everything was about to change. The impact seemed to be devastating, but the bubble has since subsided. In my opinion, the significant contribution is the blockchain; the NFT world and especially the metaverse are somewhat disappointing for now. Personally, I’m glad that art has remained largely physical and has not completely transformed into virtual. It’s interesting to see how the NFT world has not managed to integrate with the Contemporary Art system and runs parallel to traditional art forms
like photography. It demonstrates how the art system is protected in its interests and structurally still very solid.

“THERE IS ALWAYS WIND”, 2022, Galvanized iron and aluminum, 266x100x80 cm

AT: As an artist, what is your perspective on the contemporary art system?

OF: In general, I think that Contemporary Art is a system very entrenched in itself that struggles to permeate mainstream culture; anyone who is not involved finds it difficult to name three living Italian artists. And I believe this is a topic worth reflecting on. But I would like to take this opportunity to express a consideration, speaking as an emerging artist but especially as a co-founder of a space for Contemporary Art that promotes young emerging artists, called “a n c o.” I believe that in Italy, unfortunately, a very important piece is missing, represented by what is abroad, such as in Germany or Switzerland, known as Kunsthalle. That is, the intermediate step, supported by the state, between the Academy and the established gallery system, which allows young artists to mature their research without immediately compromising with the market. Therefore, the importance of non-profit spaces in Italy, which, however, struggle to keep up with very complex calls for proposals, which often, once won, reward with little funding. Non-profit spaces are dedicated to research and serve as incubators for the system, but they rarely have sufficient funds, and research, as we know, in any field, is expensive. I also believe this is why galleries in Italy work little with young artists because despite collaborating with these spaces, the latter do not have concrete budgets and therefore are unable to develop their research effectively. One possible solution to this problem could be to issue a national call specifically for non-profit
spaces, with a specific focus on contemporary art.


AT: What do you do besides art?

OF: I still work as a graphic designer at times, but lately, I’ve been working as a set dresser and
assistant set designer.


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

OF: The fact that art can be intimidating or challenging from my perspective indicates a critical issue. I believe that certain dynamics such as competition or almost obligatory production should not be part of an artist’s work. An artist living in the city may seem to benefit from its rhythms, but more often than not, they become victims of it. The most rewarding part of my work is the amazement I can evoke in others and in myself.


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

OF: My goals are to find paths that allow me to pursue my research without too many compromises, and my expectations are to continue growing organically as I have done in recent years. Therefore, I hope this curve continues to rise with the time it needs because the artistic journey is long, and one must not be in a hurry.

“Old Wild Lesvos”, Site specific artwork, mixed media, 2020 | “Sleeping with the tiger” Group show at K-Gold Temporary Gallery Lesvos, Greece, Curated by Nicolas Vamvouklis
Oliviero Fiorenzi (Osimo, 1992) lives and works between Milan and Ancona.

Living between these two contexts, he developed a particular sensitivity for the theme of the landscape. Through his personal experience, he constructs a complex figurative sign apparatus thanks to which he enters into a relationship with the context where he operates, producing pictorial, sculptural and site specific installations. His works been exhibited in galleries, foundations and museums including: The Address in Brescia, Sonnenstube in Lugano, Feltrinelli Foundation, La Triennale in Milan, Ex-Dogana in Rome, La Mole in Ancona and Manifattura Tabacchi in Florence.