Piero Golia (born 1974) is a conceptual artist based in Los Angeles. Golia was born in Naples, Italy. He studied engineering at Universitá Ferderico II. His work is defined by "constant accuracy" and humor. As artist, organizer, teacher, innovator, and catalyst for broad experimentation in culture, Piero Golia celebrates the paradox of seriousness and its impossibility.
Golia first gained international recognition with a work titled "Tattoo" (2001) in which the artist convinced a woman to have his portrait tattooed onto her back above a tattooed scroll bearing the caption "Piero, My Idol." By voluntarily accepting a permanent artistic gesture the volunteer becomes more than witness. A third-party, the tattoo artist, both seals and confuses the intimacy of the action. Following an invitation to the Tirana Biennale, he rowed across the Adriatic Sea in the opposite direction to migratory movement to reach Albania (Going to Tirana, 2001) becoming the first illegal Italian immigrant in Albania. The attacks of September 11 occurred while Golia was at sea.
Faccio Sul Serio (I Am Serious, 2002) is an attempt to convince the public of his own seriousness. It is composed of individual three dimensional metal letters that carry an electrical current. Touching the letters would cause death by electrocution. Whatever level of seriousness that is achieved is ultimately undermined by the absurdity of the demand.
In 2004 his feature film Killer Shrimps was selected for the Venice Film Festival. The film is a behind the scenes view of a documentary that was never executed because of unforeseen circumstances. In Killer Shrimps the boundaries between reality and fiction are pushed so far they almost disappear, the real becomes unreal and the fictive becomes plausibly authentic.
In 2005, he founded the Mountain School of Arts with long time friend Eric Wesley. The Mountain School of Arts is a small fully functioning school that awards full scholarships to 15 students per year from all over the world.
In a true tantrum of despotic legacy Golia climbed up a giant palm tree at the Turin Art Fair and refused to come down until someone bought his work (On the edge, 2000). He was up a tree for a full eight hour business day before a collector purchased it. At Art L.A in 2008 he took a full-sized passenger bus and crushed it to fit the size of the booth he received. In 2010 Golia installed a public project titled "Luminous Sphere" atop the Standard Hotel, a large white globe light that is on when he's in town and off when he's not. His first solo museum exhibition “Double Tumble or the Awesome Twins,” was presented at the Stedeljik Museum, Amsterdam in 2010. On August 4, 2010 a taxi crashed through the front door of Golia's Hollywood Hills home following a fare debate with friends of the artist who were visiting from Italy.
On March 4, 2012, Golia posted on Facebook: "Time for my first LA show.... I think should be on June 23rd... it is going to be paintings and sculptures." The exhibition was to be titled "Concrete Cakes and Constellation Paintings." The location was undetermined, but within a month Beverly Hills Gagosian announced the exhibition. The "Constellation Paintings" include debris from the 2010 taxi incident embedded in jet-black glossy resin. The "cakes" are cast with pure white concrete from 13 cake molds Golia received as a gift.
Concrete Cakes and Constellations Paintings, Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles
Double tumble (or the awesome twins), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Oh My God That’s So Awesome!, Bortolami
Knives, Galleria Fonti, Napoli
Postcards from the Edge, Cosmic Galerie, Paris
Bortolami, New York
Galleria Fonti, Napoli
Let the devils do their job, Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York.
February 2005, Galleri Christina Wilson, Copenhagen.
The king is dead, Cosmic Galerie, Paris (with C. Jankovski and G. Motti)
Statements, Art Basel Miami Beach Art Fair, Miami Beach
Maybe not even a nation of millions, Cosmic Galerie, Paris (with M. Simeone and M. Boggio Sella)
Faccio sul serio, Studio Massimo De Carlo, Milan
Again, Maze Gallery, Turin
La Folie de la Villa Médicis, care of C. Parisi, Académie de France à Rome (with M. Boggio Sella)
Tattoo, I-20 Gallery, New York
Voi non sapete chi mi credo di essere, Viafarini, Milan
Le mucche per Morra, Studio Morra, Naples
…Forever…, Maze Gallery, Turin
Selected Group Exhibitions
Home Show : Revisited, Santa Barbara’s Contemporary Art Forum, Santa Barbara, CA
The Artist’s Museum, MoCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Power Alone, Witte de With, Rotterdam. Curated by Juan A. Gaitán and Nicholas Schaffhausen
The End of the World as We Know it, La Kunsthalle Mulhouse / La Fonderie Centre d'Art
Contemporain, Mulhouse Cedex, France
Things that only an artist can do, MARCO, Museum of Contemporary Art, Vigo
PREMIO ITALIA ARTE CONTEMPORANEA 2010, MAXXI Museo Nazionale Delle Arti Del XXI Secolo, Rome
Nothingness and being, Fundación/Colección Jumex, Mexico City.
New World Records, Curated by Helen Johnson and Nick Mangan, Sutton Gallery, Australia
California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Arts, curated by Lauri Firstenberg
Site Santa Fe, Lucky Number Seven, Santa Fe, curated by Lance M. Fung
Retrospective, Gagosian Gallery, New York
The Light of the Virgo, China Art Objects Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow. Care of J. Backstein, D. Birnbaum, I. Boubnova, N. * Bourriaud, F. Erdemci, G. Kavar, R. Martinez, H.U. Obrist