giovanni menada sommergibile


Giovanni Menada was born in Reggio Emilia, Italy, in March 1954.

He grows in confidence with animals and nature, as well as pencils, colors and art history; his mother, who mentors him during his childhood, had attended the Brera Academy in the 1920s.

He attends studies at the college of Bologna, then in Verona.

His first job is in a plant nursery where he gets paid in trees and bushes; thanks to this first retribution he creates his first botanic garden.

Still very young, the next summer he embarks as a hub on a merchant ship carrying coal from Russia throughout Europe.

In the early seventies he organizes his first travels to London, Paris and New York.

He undertakes the profession of painter as he produces his first oil paintings.

In 1978 he graduates from the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome where he attends several courses specializing in sculpture, modeling clay and carving wood.

He lives and works in Rome throughout the eighties as a graphic printer and learns the technique of engraving. During these years he actively contributes to the artistic movements that are sprouting from the social and cultural context of the Italian capital.

He serves as a civil official at the WWF Italian secretariat.

He develops his skills in botany and creates automatic irrigation systems for urban terraces.

He travels to the Far East (China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines); upon his return in Europe he resides for long periods in Paris, France.

In a laboratory in Cavriago (Reggio Emilia, Italy), he begins to work iron and steel with the embossing technique, learned by local experienced blacksmiths.

He prepares the first personal exhibitions (shown in the main galleries of Reggio Emilia, Rome, Milan) and group exhibitions (in Ferrara, Bologna, Paris, Valencia, Nice, Graz).

He is involved in projects about design of furniture, exhibition stands (which are set up in important fairs in Bologna, Monaco, Paris, Los Angeles) and thematic exhibitions (in Rome); he develops communication projects and industrial graphics while he collaborates also in the design of water parks and theme parks; in the nineties he starts creating scenographies for theaters and movies.

Cutting out the tire treads and using mirroring steel, he conceives art pieces inspired by puddles.

While working with gardens he develops an environmental requalification project based upon the repopulation of the butterflies fauna: the project goes under the name “Aurora, butterfly’s refilling” and it collects considerable Italian and European interest.

In the late nineties, he begins to produce jewels with the technique of embossing and lost wax.

He starts studying piano and working with the pianist composer Marcello Mazzoni, with whom he devises concerts where music and imageries play a coordinated ensamble.

He gives shape to the state of mind of a fish out of water built in iron and steel, five meters high; he also works on embossed tin pans while reflecting on the subject of the primordial soup.

At the beginning of the new millennium he devises a church altar (“capocielo”) made of steel that evokes the breath of the Holy Spirit, currently located in the Cathedral of Reggio Emilia, Italy.

He takes an interest into physiognomy drawing inspiration for imaginary portraits of a bogus population which he illustrates with paintings on oil and watercolors; his projects connecting music and pastels grow in number and extension.

He sets up an exhibition about the subject of weapons: he designs a small arsenal of art pieces representing guns, rifles and machine-guns built in lead and laid out to dry upon a clothes rack like laundry; the exhibition shows also older sculptures he had designed in the nineties representing flaccid, soaked armors.

He paints watercolors about the subject of the wind, the storm and the glaciers: especially Perito Moreno in Argentina fascinates him.

He currently lives and works in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and Casalini (Brindisi, Italy).


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