Ozmo /   Gionata Gesi

Italy 1975

Street Art, Murals


Gionata Gesi
November 30, 2014

In order to process certain subject of interest Ozmo aka Gionata Gesi does not focus on working with any particular media. It is his desire to express certain observations and emotions that are affecting the production of different works. The way Ozmo is combining painterly elements like figures, shapes, colors and the way the composition is being constructed suggest how thorough is the artist’s approach. References from popular culture, art history, and politics that are wisely appropriated contribute largely to both seriousness and humor of his works, as well as to their contemporaneity.

Ozmo is known for his large scale streetart artworks in a large street in miami
Ozmo – Emergency, Biennal Checynia, 2006

The Godfather of Graffiti Scene

Gionata Gesi aka Ozmo is an Italian artist born in Pontedera, Pisa, in 1975. He started off by drawing comics in the early 90s but has soon changed his field of interest to writing and painting. Soon afterward, his tag became one of the most famous and respected ones in the Italian graffiti scene. After Ozmo finished the Fine Arts Academy of Florence in 2001, he moved to Milano. The underground scene of graffiti artist grew on him, so together with his friends decided to lay foundations of Italian Street Art. His career started to rise step by step and over the course of time he painted and showcased his artworks in New York, Miami, Chicago, London, Berlin, Sao Paolo, Habana, Beirut and Gdansk, among others.

The mixture of surreal and sacred symbols

Ozmo - The Invisible Entire, 2009
Ozmo – The Invisible Entire, 2009

Popularizing Underground Art

Ozmo started documenting Italian street art by making photos and comments and collected all the material and decided to publish the book under the title Milan, an alternative guide. At the opening of his first solo show at Galleria Astuni, the book was promoted. That provided additional attention from both art circles and the media and Ozmo started exhibiting at the Italian art fair circuit and showcased in the main galleries of Milan. On that trail, the artist started painting monumental walls in alternative spaces and social centers. That is how mural at social center Leoncavallo came to life.

Rustic, yet fresh and contemporary compositions

Ozmo - Studio with Big Fish, 2012
Ozmo – Studio with Big Fish, 2012

Ozmo’s Peculiar Style

The works of Ozmo can be read as some form of metaphors or perhaps riddles since he is working with religious icons, various symbols, numbers, tarots or chess and often refers to philosophy. Whether the color pallet is bright and cheerful or simplified and somehow dark, Ozmo masterfully disposes of it depending on the theme or the composition in general. Actually, the whole process of working on a wall or any other two-dimensional surface is well thought and predetermined by a serious research.

About Bosh’s creatures and robots

Ozmo - Tondals Vision, Turin Urban Art Field project, 2015
Ozmo – Tondals Vision, Turin Urban Art Field project, 2015

The Spanning Career

After a special reportage by the most famous urban culture underground mag in Italy, which was dedicated to his achievements, Ozmo became known as one of the leading figures in the underground scene in national context. That was followed by his name being published in the famous magazine Flash Art within I nuovissimi Top 100 dopo Cattelan – The newest Top 100 after Cattelan list in 2006 and in the Dizionario della Giovane Arte Italiana – Young Italian Art Dictionary in 2008. The thin line between fine arts and graffiti’s seems to be erased in the case of Ozmo not just because of his engagement and recognition by both institutional and underground frame, but rather because of his authentic iconography and subtly socially engaged practice.

Ozmo lives and works in Milan, Italy.

Featured image: OZMO in front of his Untitled mural in San Francisco, 2016, photo credits Jon Sadgilany
All other images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2014OzmoPiaggio Museum, Pontedera, ItalySolo
2014Tracks – Linguaggi d’arte urbanaMacro Museum, Rome, ItalyGroup
2014The Lisa ProjectLittle Italy, NYC Group
2013Escape The Golden CageVienna, AustriaGroup
20132501 x Ozmo - Branco e PretoTag and Juice Gallery, San Paulo, BrazilDuo
2013Festival culturale internazionale Seites Sois Seites LuasCape Verte Group
2012OzmoUrban Arena Museum of Contemporary Art MACRO, Rome, ItalySolo
2012Primo Piano d’ArtistaMuseo del 900, Milan, ItalySolo
2012Una fine che non finisce di finire La Rada , Locarno, Switzerland Group
2010The Last MovieGdanska Galeria Miejska 1, Gdansk, Poland Solo
2010That’s all FolksStadshallen, Bruges, BelgiumGroup
2010Go get your shine boxBrooklynite Gallery, New York, USA Group
2010Attention - Border crossingPadiglione Italiano alla Moscow Young Biennial, Moscow, RussiaGroup
2009European festival of monumental paintingGdansk, PolandGroup
2009Via Brick LaneBrick Lane Gallery, London, UK Group
2009In & OutFondazione Bandera per l’Arte, Busto Arsizio, Varese, ItalyGroup
2008OzmoPure Evil Gallery, London, United Kingdom Solo
2008Scala Mercalli - Il terremoto creativo della street art italianaAuditorium Parco della Musica, Rome, ItalyGroup
2008Pop Up Festival – Arte contemporanea nello spazio urbanoItalyGroup
2007Arte Italiana 1968_2007 - PitturaPalazzo Reale, Milan, ItalyGroup
2007Street Art Sweet Art - Dalla cultura hip hop alla generazione Pop UpPAC Padiglione di Arte Contemporanea, Milan, ItalyGroup
2007Me odio y yo quiero comprarGaleria Enrique Guerrero, MexicoGroup
2006Senza FamigliaPalazzo della Promotrice, Torino, ItalyGroup
2006L’immagine sottile 01Galleria Comunale d’Arte Contemporanea, Monfalcone, ItalyGroup
2005Ozmo & AbbominevoleGalleria Astuni, Pietrasanta, ItalySolo
2005Con altri occhi, la città vista dai giovani artistiPalazzo della Ragione, Milan, ItalyGroup
2005Emergency Biennial - A suite case from Paris to GroznyPalais de Tokyo, Paris, France and various locations at Grozny, CeceniaGroup
2002Gemine MuseMuseo Nazionale di San Matteo, Pisa, ItalyGroup
1998II Rassegna Biennale Giovani Artisti ItalianiPalazzo Lanfranchi, Pisa, ItalyGroup
1998Writing performanceFondazione Teseco per l’arte, Pisa , ItalyGroup