Marco Grassi aka Pho/ Marco Grassi

Italy 1976

Urban Art

Marco Grassi aka Pho
Marco Grassi

After having ‘taken lessons’ in street art on the walls of Paris, Marco Pho Grassi established himself at the beginning of the 1990’s as one of the pioneering artists of the genre in Italy. His transition to practice at the Arnaldo Pomodoro’s sculpture studio allowed him to master essential techniques in his work.

He also began to experiment with the numerous materials that the city has to offer, for example by painting on wooden pallets and torn manifestos. For him, the action of time transforms a work of art until its destruction, especially when it is located in a perishable urban context. Influenced by oriental paintings and by abstract expressionists such as Emilio Vedova, Georges Mathieu and Sam Francis, Marco Pho Grassi vigorously uses the spray can alongside brushes and sponges.

In the style of the Arte Povera, Grassi’s works reflect the materiality of urban environment. On behalf of the series “Walls”, Grassi utilzes found objects such as old wooden pallets, eathered posters, rusted metal and bitumen as a subsurface for his strong and expressive abstract paintings. The artist started to produce the series in 2012 which later became a manifesto, revealing the essence of his work and the dialogue between the used materials and media.

Thereby, a strong relation in the pictorial gesture and the use of different materials are the main characteristics of his artwork. The varying bodies of work are based on various conceptual, formal and technical approaches by always keeping a coherent aesthetic.

To this day, the artist works in the streets as well as in the studio. He believes that both approaches are complementary and influence one another. The letters that spring out from the streets serve as the basis for his indoor creations, turning into a syncopated movement of colors that mix together until the letters are illegible. This connection between street and studio is not by chance, since his first works made in the studio are entitled ‘Dans La Rue’.

Since 2005, Marco Pho Grassi has had several consecutive exhibitions with growing success. First the solo exhibition ‘Street as Workshop and Expressive Model’ in the province of Milan, then 3 collective exhibitions: ‘Street Art Sweet Art’ in 2007 in Milan, then ‘Dos Graffitos à Pintura’ in 2008 in Sao Paulo, and ‘Junkbuilding’ at the Triennale of Milan in the same year.

Marco lives and works in Milan.

YearExhibition TiltleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2014SAVAGESoze Gallery, LAGroup,
2013POTSE 68Circle Culture Gallery, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2013Ephemeral Circle Culture Gallery, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2012RestituzioniCircle Culture Gallery, Berlin, GermanySolo
2012Pre-openingCircle Culture Gallery, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
201120 Years of Wag,The Don Gallery, Milan, ItalyGroup
2011Paper WorksCircle Culture Gallery, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2011UnknownBanka Generali Private Collection, Milan, Italy
2011Moniker International Art Fair, London, UKGroup
2011The Urban Artistpaths from subcultural creativity to contemporary art, Circle Culture Gallery at Soho House, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2010L’Art Urbain (The Urban Art)Addict Gallery, Paris, FranceGroup
2010Escape 2010International Exhibition of Urban Art, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2010MonikerInternational Art Fair, London, UKGroup
2010Le Salon De La CultureCircle Culture Gallery, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2010Volta6 Art Fair BaselCircle Culture Gallery, Basel, SwitzerlandGroup
2010DecadentismeMarco Grassi aka Pho & Jaybo, Avant Garden Gallery, Milan, ItalyGroup
2010As a good painting about nothingCircle Culture Gallery, Berlin Art for Haiti, Leonard Street Gallery, London, UKGroup
2009Marco Grassi aka PhoLive performance Project Room, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2009The show must go onUrban Angel Gallery, London, UKGroup
2009Urban StoriesMemoli Contemporary Art, Milan, ItalyGroup
2009Expossible Corrente Foundation, Milan, ItalyGroup
2008Dos Grafftos A’ Pintura (From Graffti to Painting)Contemporary Art Museum Of Sao Paolo, Sao Paolo, BrazilGroup
2008UnknownMario Negri Institute Privat Collection, Milan, Italy
2008JunkbuildingTriennale, Milan, ItalyGroup
2008Dos Grafftos A’ Pintura (From Graffti to Painting), Cultural Center Recoleta, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaGroup
2008Via Bricklane-E1Bricklane Gallery, London, UKGroup
2008Urban StoriesMemoli Contemporary Art, Milan, ItalyGroup
2007Marco Grassi aka Pho-Termine-RaeAvantgarden Gallery, Milan, ItalyGroup
2007Street Art Sweet ArtPAC Contemporary Art Pavilion , Milan, ItalyGroup
2007Arte ParmaInternational Art Fair, Torcular Gallery, Parma, ItalyGroup
2006Legno e La Tela (The Wood and Canvas)Contemporary Art Space of Albissola, Albissola, ItalyGroup
2006Dal Muro Alla Tela (From Wall On Canvas)Villa Bozzolo, Varese, ItalyGroup
2005La strada come laboratorio e come modello espressivo (The streets as a studio and as an expression model)Guicciardini Art Space, Milan, ItalyGroup
2005BagarreThe Bag, Milan, ItalyGroup
2004Parventi (Folding Screens) Il Legno e la Tela, Milan, ItalySolo
2004Fabbrica Arte Chiostro Di Voltorre, Varese, ItalyGroup
2004Dans La Rue (In The Street)Municipal Library Chiesa Rossa, Milan, ItalySolo