Biography

Born in Pontedera, Pisa in 1975, Ozmo made his first steps in the comics world, but since early 90s he soon moved his focus on writing and painting. In short time his tag would have become one of the most famous and respected ones in the Italian graffiti scene. A special reportage dedicated to Ozmo on ‘Aelle’ – the most famous urban culture underground mag in Italy – will consacrate him as one of the leading figure in the national underground writing scene.

After having attended the Fine Arts Academy of Florence, in 2001 the artist moved to Milan, where he’s been working with the mayor art galleries choosing his own name as signature and leaving his tag behind for a while. Beyond the institutional artworks, in his first Milanese years, Gionata Gesi starts to work in the public space as Ozmo as well, filling the streets of Milan with drawings, stickers, big posters and graffiti. And right back in that days, together with a group of friends, he’s laid the foundations of Italian Street Art, becoming one of the pioneers of this XXI Century avantgarde.

In 2004 Ozmo one of the first street artists featured in an institutional context as it was Roberto Pinto‘s Assab One exhibition in Milan. He’s also been one of the first to document Italian street art with pics, images and words in the book Milano, una guida alternativa (Milan, an alternative guide). A book published together with the opening of Ozmo’s first solo show at Galleria Astuni, in Pietrasanta, Lucca.

From that moment on, Ozmo’s artworks will be presented in the Italian art fair circuit, from Bologna’s Artefiera, Artissima Turin and Milan’s MiArt and showcased in the main galleries of Milan, the Italian arts epicentre. At the beginning of the new millennium Ozmo has also started to paint monumental walls in social centres and alternative spaces, such as Leoncavallo, where the artist painted one of his best known artworks. Together with other artwork the whole building has been called “A contemporary Sistine Chapel”  Ozmo’s wallpainting in Leoncavallo has also been chosen as book cover for I graffiti del Leoncavallo, a book published by Skira, the most international Italian art publisher.

2005 will be a very important year for Gionata Gesi: his work will be showcased in “Con altri occhi” , la città vista dai giovani artisti (With a different sight, the city seen by young artists) an important instutional exhibition curated by Roberto Pinto and Katia Angelova, set up in Milan’s Palazzo della Ragione. Together with the academic art world acknowledgement, Ozmo gains also that one from the artpress: in 2006 Flash Art includes his name in I nuovissimi Top 100 dopo Cattelan – The newest Top 100 after Cattelan and in 2008 he’s featured in the Dizionario della Giovane Arte Italiana – Young Italian Art Dictionary. After some months spent working between USA and Mexico, in 2007 Ozmo flies back to Italy to exhibit his work in Street Art Sweet Art is the group show. Set up in PAC – Contemporary Art Pavilion of Milan and curated by Alessandro Riva, the exhibition showcased a highly-glazed translucent paper artwork on a 50mq glass window and a massive wall painting of 80mq. Later the same year the artist has been chosen to rapresent the latest trend in contemporary art in Arte Italiana 1968–2007 Pittura (Italian Art 1968-2007- Painting), the anthological show curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, in piazza Duomo, at Palazzo Reale, where Ozmo’s work has been hanged beside those of De Chirico, Boetti, Schifano and Cucchi.

After having painted facades and walls all around Italy, Ozmo has also exhibit in the group show Scala Mercalli. Il terremoto creativo della street art italiana, (Scala Mercalli. The creative earthquake of Italian Street Art, curated by Gianluca Marziani in 2008 at Rome Auditorium. After that Ozmo has painted and showcased his artworks among La Habana, New York, Bruges, Beirut, Berlin, Gdansk and a personal show in London.

And in the UK Capital in 2008 Ozmo opens two times in two different galleries in the hearth of Shoreditch, the artistic avantgarde block of London, home of the famous White Cube gallery. In 2010 for Ozmo has also been the year of Christie’s Auction: his artworks have been some of the best sellers during the charity event held in Palazzo Clerici for Metroweb project Tombini Art (Manhole art). Besides Absolut Vodka commissioned him two massive wallpainting in Rome and Milan for the project Absolut Wallpaper 2.0 e Absolut Wall. The New York Times has featured Ozmo’s Rome artwork in its online edition.

Among Ozmo’s latest projects, there’s a 300 mq monumental public painting in the very historical centre of Gdansk, Poland, called “The last movie”. The same summer Ozmo took part at the Moscow Young Biennial, where he has been invited as italian artist. In fall 2011 he painted a wall in London, “Big Fish Eats Small Fish” the same wall where great names such as Bansky and Obey performed. He also signed “Still Death”, a wallpainting realized for the Italian edition of Banksy’s film “Exit thru the gift shop”, and soon after, in feb 2012, he had his Solo Show at Museo del Novecento in Milan, “Il PreGiudizio Universale”, a great gallery of his works with a wide live painting daily visited in real time by visitors with a strong reply and impressed feedback by the audience. In this occasion, for the first time, the Museum acquired a piece of street art work, in his own world wide famous and important Collection.
In november 2012 Ozmo had one of his most important intervention “You Are Worth More Than Many Sparrows!” in the terrace of the MACRO Museum of contemporary art in Rome, with a wallpainting 300sqm big in the heart of Rome.
The wallpainting is still there and can be observed from the streets around the museum.

2012 a year of important museum shows for the artist, close with another special intervention: the wallpainting ‘Ritratto di PI’ 10m x 5m is painted for the show “Donne Cavalieri Incanti Follia” produced by Scuola Normale Superiore and city of PISA.