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 fields, from painting to sculpture, from installations to performance. His initial pictorial style originates from an introspective research that makes bursting instinctively its most characteristic aspect; his material style is inspired by the great masters of the twentieth century, from Picasso to the great upheavals of the trans-avant-garde.


On the occasion of his participation with a video at Personal Structures at Palazzo Bembo during the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, Michele Tombolini lays the foundations for a change, turning his research towards an increasingly conceptual approach, where the idea and the social message are the masters.


In 2014 the artist moved to Berlin where he created Butterfly, an interactive mural, on the facade of a building in the center of East Berlin. The monumental work, 30 m, is part of the international Indelible Marks project, aimed at raising public awareness on the great problem of child prostitution in the world and the abuse of minors. Butterfly, depicting a little girl in black and white with her mouth covered by a plaster but with blue butterfly wings, represents the beginning of a revolution in the artist's language in which an element of positivity is inserted, represented by bright colors, in contrast to the dullness of the city, to the decay and social problems that characterize big metropolises.


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

On the occasion of the Venice Biennale of Art 2019 Michele Tombolini stands out for his installation "The Griffed Beggar" leaning against the wall of the Academy of Fine Arts: it is a beggar womanwith her face covered and a sign that reads "I'm hungry, help me”. The destabilizing element is thepresence of a designer bag and scratch cards scattered on the ground: is it a fake poor or a rich one impoverished due to consumerism and contemporary social plagues? The installation of the mannequin in various parts of 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 responsibility for the intervention on Banksy's work "The Little Migrant" which appeared in Venice last summer. Tombolini applied an adhesive X to the child's mouth, without damaging the work of the English street artist, and removing it after 24 hours, to catalyze attention on the issue of migration in Italy and reinforce Banksy's message. The closed mouth indicates the inability of migrants to explain their version of events and be heard to enforce their rights, emphasizing the delicate issue of illicit human trafficking in Italy, managed by the mafias.


On June 18, 2021, in Mestre, Michele Tombolini unveiled a new artistic project, "X Square". An evocative sculptural installation, placed in the center of the square in Calle Corte Legrenzi conceived as a symbol of optimism and trust for all the people hard hit by the pandemic in the last year and who still suffer from the economic and social consequences of this emergency. The one presented in Mestre is the first work of an itinerant project with which the artist will bring his message of universal hope to the main squares of the world in the coming months.

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