Michele Tombolini ITALY, b. 1963


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My art is for everyone and it represents our times, it goes beyond the business and tells the story of our every day life and our society at a global level.
My art is a sort of conceptual and social pop,  where the message is the most important thing.



Venice, 1963. 


Michele Tombolini's research ranges in different disciplines, from painting to sculpture, from installations to performances.

His initial pictorial style originates from an introspective research that has in instinct its most strong characteristic with a material style which is inspired by the great masters of the twentieth century, from Picasso to the great upheavals of the Transvangarde.


In occasion of his participation with a video to Personal Structures at the Venice Biennale in 2013, Michele Tombolini put the foundations for a change by turning his research towards an increasingly conceptual approach with a deeper focus on social matters.

In 2014 the artist moved to Berlin where he realized Butterfly, an interactive mural created on the facade of a building in the centre of East Berlin. The monumental artwork, h.20 m, fitted into the context of the international Indelible Marks project, aimed at raising public awareness of the great problem of child prostitution and child abuse in the world. Butterfly depicts a girl with a mouth closed by a plaster but with blue butterfly wings, and this artwork represents the beginning of a revolution in the artist's language where an element of positivity, represented by bright colours, is inserted in contrast to the greyness of the city and the degradation and social problems that characterize the great metropolises.


The artist's new artistic path is characterized by an approach to the image that can be defined as Pop, while maintaining a level of reading that carries a marked interest in social dynamics, the so- called Social Pop.

On the occasion of the Venice Art Biennale 2019, Michele Tombolini stood out for his installation "La Mendicante Griffata" leaning against the wall of the Academy of Fine Arts: it was a beggar woman with her face covered and a sign with the words "I’m hungry, help me". The destabilizing element was the presence of a designer bag and scratch cards scattered on the ground: is it a poor fake or a rich impoverished because of consumerism and contemporary social plagues?

The installation of the mannequin at various points in Venice was followed by an exhibition at Cà Zanardi with the projection of an artistic video with the reactions of passers-by.


The artist recently claimed the intervention on the work of Banksy "The Little Migrant" appeared in Venice last summer. Tombolini applied an adhesive X on the child’s mouth, without damaging the work of the English street artist and removing it after 24 hours, to catalyse attention on the theme of migration in Italy and strengthening the message of Banksy. The cloaked mouth indicates the impossibility of migrants to explain their version of events and to be heard in order to enforce their rights, emphasizing the delicate issue of illicit human trafficking in Italy, managed by the mafias.

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