Filippo Minelli

Italy 1983

Installation, Photography, Land Art

Filippo Minelli
Filippo Minelli
June 9, 2015
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Filippo Minelli is an Italian contemporary artist who has been creating art for public spaces since the late 1990s. Born in Brescia, in 1983, Minelli earned his BFA in New Media for the Arts, from the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, Milan, in 2006. His studies went alongside with the urban interventions in public spaces that characterized his research in previous years.

Pioneer of Street Art in Italy

Filippo Minelli was primarily engaged in instinctive and unauthorized actions, which in the beginning of the 21st century made him a pioneer for Italy of what will later be called street art. After few years, he developed his own unique style based on the aesthetics of protest, bringing politics to a new level by decontextualizing the use of tear gas, reversing the function of flags and borrowing from the aesthetics of protest slogans. Amongst politics, Filippo has been analyzing and researching issues in fields such as architecture, communication, and geography using them as the basis for creating installations and performances documented through photography and video.
The two competing forces of his work are words and silence, he investigates the importance of the word in contemporaneity, as well as its opposite, silence.


In 2007, Minelli started his ongoing project called Contradictions, in which he has produced land art that consists of writing the names of social networks and corporations on the walls of slums in developing countries.

“The aim of the project is to point out the gap between the reality we live in and the ephemeral world of technologies”.

Filippo spreads the logos of anything connected with 2.0 experiences in the slums of the third world in order to show the idealization connected with these experiences, which produces a small-but-important detach of the perception of the real world. His photographs from the Contradictions series, taken in Cambodia, Vietnam, Mali, and China, among others, quickly take a viewer lost in the world of modern technologies, back to reality.

Filippo Minelli - My Space, from the Contradictions series, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2007, photo credits - Filippo Minelli, photography
Filippo Minelli – My Space, from the Contradictions series, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2007, photo credits – artist


In the works of the ongoing series Silence/Shapes, commenced in 2009, Filippo has been taking photos of handmade smoke bombs in romantic landscapes to juxtapose the beauty of nature with the violence of a medium devoted to generating chaos in political demonstrations. Minelli became interested in smoke bombs after he saw them in use during various political protests. Keeping that in mind, the artist chose to photograph many of these smoke bombs in a rather unusual setting. Instead of seeing these vibrant color of smoke arising from the disorganized scenes of a protest, the artist photographs them in areas of outstanding beauty creating a perfectly framed fantasy. By highlighting the beauty of a smoke bomb, his Silence/Shapes series of works show how prettiness can be found in extremely conspicuous contrasts. The series got featured in several major magazines including Harper’s and numerous prints were sold on Public Delivery. In 2013 Elephant Magazine, UK, dedicated the cover of the 13th issue, entitled Post-photography to the series Silence/Shapes.

Filippo Minelli – Shape C-Z, 2013, from the Silence/Shapes series, photo credits - Paddle8
Filippo Minelli – Shape C-Z, 2013, from the Silence/Shapes series, photo credits – Paddle8

Chemotherapy Update

In 2010, Filippo Minelli was diagnosed with a 4.2-degree (on a scale to 5) Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, type of blood cancer, which he managed to beat and survive. This experience did not stop him from making art, and Chemotherapy Update was born. Conceived as an update blog for his friends and relatives who couldn’t visit him during his recovery, the blog turned out to be a real artistic project. Updated daily from the phone, Chemotherapy Update is a deeply personal and highly observational project containing ironic and sarcastic comments, diary entries, aggressive collages and affecting confessions.
In 2014, the project was presented at LINK Center for the Arts of the Information Age (Link Art Center), Brescia, Italy, in a special installation designed for space.

Filippo Minelli - Chemotherapy Update, solo show at Link Art Center, Brescia, Italy, 2014, installation view, photo credits - Filippo Minelli
Filippo Minelli – Chemotherapy Update, solo show at Link Art Center, Brescia, Italy, 2014, installation view, photo credits – artist

Monograph by the Dutch Publisher Onomatopee

Minelli’s thoughtful, thought-provoking pieces can be found throughout Europe, South America, Africa, South-East Asia with stops at places such as the Mongolian steppe, African deserts, Israel, and Palestine.
His artworks are frequently featured in books and his series has been reviewed by some of the major international magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, Le Monde, Harpers, Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, and Sueddeutsche Zeitung. An overview of Filippo Minelli’s works was published in a monograph by the Dutch publisher Onomatopee in 2014.
His work was shown at international Photography festivals from Rome to Singapore, as well as in numerous solo and group exhibitions in many galleries and museums worldwide.
He participated in the Venice Biennale in 2011.

Filippo Minelli lives and works in Barcelona, Spain.

Featured image: Filippo Minelli, photo credits Alice Caputo
Other images copyright © the artist

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016Against Myself (upcoming)Colette, Paris, FranceSolo
2015Bold Statements (upcoming)Ruttkowski 68 Gallery, Cologne, GermanySolo
2015New WorksBeetles+Huxley, London, UKSolo
2015Nothing To Say886Geary Gallery, San Francisco, USASolo
2015Silence ShapesGalerie Rive Gauche, Namur, BelgiumSolo
2015Mapping The CitySomerset House, London, United KingdomGroup
2015XxxxxxxxxZabriskie Point, Geneva, SwitzerlandGroup
2015Se a Milano ci Fosse Il Mare!Fabbrica del Vapore, Milano, ItalyGroup
2015Under The Coke SignSBK, Dordrecht, The NetherlandsGroup
2015F4Fondazione Francesco Fabbri, Treviso, ItalyGroup
2015Walk&Talk FestivalAzores islands, PortugalGroup
2014Geometry Of Silence, Witte De With FestivalGalerie Kromme Elleboog, Rotterdam, The NetherlandsSolo
2014Visit PadaniaBooth at Independents5, ArtVerona, ItalySolo
2014Silence/ShapesGalería Loewe, Barcelona, SpainSolo
2014Chemotherapy Update, c. By Domenico Quaranta And Fabio ParisLINK Center for the Arts of the Information Age, Brescia, ItalySolo
2014Silence/Shapes, c. by Paolo BolpagniFondaciòn Loewe, Madrid, SpainSolo
2014Utopian DaysTotal Museum for Contemporary Arts, Seoul, South KoreaGroup
2014It Never HappenedNoordkaap Artspace, Dordrecht, The NetherlandsGroup
2014Taehwa River Art FestivalUlsan, South KoreaGroup
2014030_2.0, c. by Fabio ParisPiccolo Miglio, Brescia, ItalyGroup
2014About UncertaintyIPO Artspace, Seoul, South KoreaGroup
2014Katowice Street Art FestivalKatowice, PolandGroup
2014Premio San FedeleGalleria San Fedele, Milano, ItalyGroup
2013Le Forme Del SilenzioMuseo Correale di Terranova, Sorrento, ItalySolo
2013Kształty CiszyV9 Gallery, Warsaw, PolandSolo
2013Le Forme Del Silenzio, c. By Paolo BolpagniCastello di Bornato, ItalySolo
2013Galeria AutonomicaMuenchner-StadtMuseum, Münich, GermanyGroup
2013Avangarde UrbanoMunoz Sola Museum, Tudela de Navarra, SpainGroup
2013Fotocopia EuropeaV, Reggio Emilia, ItalyGroup
2012Silence ShapesRuttkowski 68 Gallery, Cologne, GermanySolo
2012Discussion, c. by Silvia ScaravaggiPalazzo d’Accursio, Bologna, ItalySolo
2012Singapore International Photography FestivalArtScience Museum, SingaporeGroup
2012Rise Of Populism In EuropeLX Factory, Lisboa, PortugalGroup
2012UtopraxiaThe Art Foundation, Athens, GreeceGroup
2012Fahr.1Centre d’Art Terres de L’Ebre, Amposta, SpainGroup
2012ByobMuseo Pecci, Milano, ItalyGroup
2011Itlia Di Mrd, c. by Rossella FarinottiROJO Artspace, Milano, ItalySolo
201154 Biennale Di Venezia Padiglione ItaliaPalazzo Lombardia, Milano, ItalyGroup
2011Act/OutOnomatopee, Eindhoven, NetherlandsGroup
2011Transprivacy, 200 Public AdvertisingsCity of Düsseldorf, GermanyGroup
2011Paraty Em FocoFestival internacional de Fotografia, Paraty, BrazilGroup
2011Pietra&CoPublic sculputures, Sirmione del Garda, ItalyGroup
2011SpartaCircolo Aternino, Pescara, ItalyGroup
2011Adios OlandaWhiteBox, Munich, GermanyGroup
2011NovaFundacao Casa Franca-Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilGroup
2010Vipassana, c. by Stefano VerriWhiteProject Gallery, Pescara, ItalySolo
2010Random Words, c. by Vittorio Sgarbi And Stefano VerriGalleria Civica Palazzo Todeschini, Desenzano del Garda, ItalySolo
2010IntemporaneaMuseo di Santa Giulia, Brescia, ItalyGroup
2010CartaceaGalleria delle Battaglie, Brescia, ItalyGroup
2010Fotografia, Festival Internazionale Di FotografiaMACRO, Roma, ItalyGroup
2010NovaMuseu da Imagem e do Som, Sao Paulo, BrazilGroup
2009You Know MeNoordkaap Foundation, Dordrecht, NetherlandsSolo
2009ObservatoriMuseu de les Drassanes, Valencia, SpainGroup
2009OchoRojo Artspaces, Milano, ItalyGroup
2008Poe.MiArchivio Riverca Visiva, Milan, ItalyGroup
2008Urban ArtEspacio Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaGroup
2008Industrial LiesGalleria Dispari&Dispari, Reggio Emilia, ItalyGroup
2008Xiii Biennale Del MediterraneoBari, ItalyGroup
2008BrightdisorderSanta Maria della Scala, Siena, ItalyGroup
2008Italian Street Art Meets BrazilMuseu de Arte Contemporanea da Universidade Sao Paulo, BrasilGroup
2008MuraliaPalazzo Paolo V, Benevento, ItalyGroup
2007Studio Del ColoreCentro Culturale Espositivo Spazio6, Brescia, ItalySolo
2007DecontaminationNhow Hotel, Milan, ItalyGroup
2006A3NotGallery, Naples, ItalyGroup
2006Citta’MorfosiCentro Culturale Cascina Grande, Milan, ItalyGroup
2006LivepaintingSpazio30, Milan, ItalyGroup
2005FoodshowMagma Library, London, U.K.Group