(Italian painter, 1955 - 2018)
- International visibility
- His works have been shown in pretigious public institutions, in Italy and abroad
- Included in a Venice Biennal
- His works are in national and international public collections
- Reviewed by authoritative critics and art historians
- Hir works have been acquired by institutions and museums
- Has received awards
Giampaolo Talani was born in 1955, in San Vincenzo (Livorno), Italy. After completing the High School of Art, he graduated at the Florence Academy of Fine Arts, where he was taught by Goffredo Trovarelli.
Talani experienced all classical art techniques over his studies before he took to painting, devoting himself also to fresco painting. Talani’s contribution to this art form has sealed his reputation as one of the world’s leading experts on fresco technique. In his early years, Talani executed the extensive fresco cycle in the Church of San Vincenzo Ferreri, in San Vincenzo (Livorno). He then painted “Predica di San Bernardino” (Saint Bernardino Preaching) on the external walls of the Bishop’s Palace, In Massa Marittima (Grosseto), “L’ultima Cena” (The Last Supper) and “La Resurrezione di Lazzaro” (The Resurrection of Lazarus) in the Sanctuary of Madonna del Frassine (Livorno), and the altarpiece “Madonna di Populonia” for the Church of Populonia (Livorno)
He emerged also as a sculptor with a preference for bronze casts, which can be regarded as three-dimensional variants of his favourite painted motifs: the sailor, the departing man, the man who sails the seas, the fish finder, the woman.
There have been several important solo exhibitions of his work in prestigious art galleries worldwide since the 1980s and 1990s, and major retrospectives have been carried out in public spaces. However, Talani’s reputation extends far beyond his customer base as well as his personal, artistic work. Placing its works in popular public places, in close contact with people, Talani has given new energy to the so-called public art, as the well-known italian art critic Vittorio Sgarbi labelled it. The emotional impact of such works of art is largely unquestioned and socially shared.
He first painted a significant fresco cycle for the municipality of San Vincenzo, whose interior staircase walls were decorated with panels, then presented by Vittorio Sgarbi in 2002. In 2006, he completed the fresco “Partenze” (Departures) which was located in Florence, at the Santa Maria Novella railway station; his work enriches the historic building designed by the architect Giovanni Michelucci in the 1930S, now considered one of the most significant examples of the Italian functionalist architecture. This mural painting is being acquired by the city of Florence, and it is destined to be moved into the city’s newly opened Museo del Novecento. In 2008 Talani unveiled in Florence, at Palazzo Vecchio, an anthological exhibition entitled “Rosa dei venti” (Rose of he winds), as was his bronze sculpture set in the Loggia of the Uffizi.
In December 2009, he was the creator and protagonist of “Rosa dei venti – L’isola che c’è” (Rose of the winds – Everland), a television show broadcast on RAI 1. This culture-themed programme was focused on creating a poetic moment within the tv schedule; as such, it was deliberately broadcast after the TG1 news bulletin in the attempt to counterbalance the harsh social realities as told by the news report. The show became so popular that the same title was given to Talani’s open-air sculpture exhibition set up in 2009 at Pietrasanta, in the charming piazzetta before the Cathedral.
In 2011, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, Giampaolo Talani was commissioned by the organizing committee to make two bronze casts featuring a bust of Giuseppe Garibaldi, one of which is currently displayed in the Quirinal Palace, the residence of the President of the Italian Republic, and the other at Palazzo Madama, which houses the Italian Senate. Public works by Giampaolo Talani also include “Mille uomini” (A thousand men), presently displayed in the Museo del Risorgimento at the “Vittoriano” in Rome, and “L’ombra dell’eroe” (The hero’ shadow), still inspired by Giuseppe Garibaldi – the “Hero of two worlds”. For this latter painting – which is currently located in Rome, at the Pinacoteca del Quirinale Art Gallery – Talani was received by the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.
Having travelled to New York, Washington, Paris, Beirut, Berlin, as well as to Florence and Naples, in summer 2012 the Tuscan master unveiled in Pontedera (Pisa) at the “Giovanni Alberto Agnelli” Piaggio Museum, the exhibition entitled “Bottega Talani: un viaggio nell’affresco” (Atelier Talani: a journey into fresco painting). Besides, the “Vespa PX” decorated by Giampaolo talani is currently on display at the Piaggio Museum which houses one of the most important vespa scooter collections in the world. Some of the models are real works of art, including the prestigious vespa signed by Salvador Dalì.
However, Talani’s vocation as a public artist goes far beyond national boundaries. In 2009, on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Talani was the only foreign artist to exhibit at the opening ceremony, on invitation of the Berlin Parliament, by presenting his installation “Die Mauer – Gli ombrelli della libertà” (Die Mauer – The umbrellas of freedom). Besides, Talani’s four-metre/157,48-inch tall cast bronze sculpture entitled “Partenze” (Departure), was chosen by the Municipality of Berlin to be installed at Washingtonplatz, facing the main railway station of the capital of Germany.
Amongst other works by Giampaolo Talani in public spaces, mention should be made of seven-metre/ 275,59-inch tall cast bronze sculpture “Il marinaio” (The sailor) dated 2010, and located at the entrance of the tourist harbour of San Vincenzo. A twenty-metre/787,40-inch tall version of that bronze statue was installed in the port of Miami in 2012 to commemorate the Florentine navigator Amerigo Vespucci. A bronze “Rose of the winds” by Talani was temporarily installed at the Santa Lucia train station in Venice as a symbol of this important terminus. Recently, a three-metre/118,11-inch tall bronze statue “L’uomo che salva il mare” (The man who saves the sea) was carved in honour of the citizens of the Giglio Island (Grosseto) who helped rescue the Costa Concordia passengers when it sank off the coast of Tuscany in 2012. At the end of 2016, Talani produced a 2,5-metre/98,42-inch tall bronze statue, “Fiorenza”, celebrating the city of Florence and all women. The statue has been placed in Palazzo Vecchio for three months and it is now displayed at the centre of San Jacopino square in Florence.
He passed away prematurely in January 2018.
Those who have written about him include:
Mario Bucci, Tommaso Paloscia, Nicola Micieli, Domenico Guzzi, Giovanni Faccenda, Vittorio Sgarbi, Maurizio Fagiolo Dell’arco, Maurizia Tazartes, Maria Cristina Acidini, Enrico Giustacchini, Sandra Nava, Umberto Cecchi, Luigi Ravaioli, Maurizio Vanni, Marco Moretti, Pier Francesco Listri, Fabio Canessa, Francesco Festuccia, Riccardo Ferrucci, Laura Farina, Silvano Granchi, Marco Palamidessi, Giammarco Puntelli, Alessandra Bruni.
La donna sul muro, 2016
cm 50x40, Original mixed media painting on cardboard
Un mare blu, 2016
cm 50x40, Original mixed media painting on cardboard
cm 44x13.5x10, Bronze sculpture
cm 43x14x14, Bronze sculpture
Musica nel vento
cm 42x14.5x10.5, Bronze sculpture