DeMí - Gianluca DeMichele , Italy 1980

Currently living and working in Hackney, London.

Raised in Rome, where he lived with his mother, father and grandparents. His grandmother loved canaries, she had at least a dozen on her balcony in San Basilio on the outskirts of the city. Since the early days of his childhood he is immersed in the artistic heritage of the capital and in his unique folklore. 

Fascinated also by the theatrical nature of the Romans, he is destined to a future in the performing and visual arts.

With the arrival of his first sister the family moves to the south of Italy, in the city where his mother is from (Monopoli); he spent most of his free time after school playing outdoors, taking care of the animals on the farm adjacent to the house and helping his father with his gardening job.

It's here where his obsession with nature begun; closely observing insects, flowers, plants, minerals and observing the stars learning about constellations using a small telescope. DeMí deepened the study of all of these subjects and the Arts using the XII volumes encyclopedia purchased by his parents.

He begun to write poetry at the age of 15 and his reclusive nature yet would rather choose the company of animals or a book over hanging out with adults and schoolmates.

His fascination by the mystical and spiritual realms spans across the entire production; completes his first painting ‘E Diurne Notti’ in 1998 and this marks the artist’s first encounter with the Ego's emblem.

After producing a series of works on paper he received a full set of oil paints, canvases and brushes by the mother of Naima, his first daughter born in 2003. 

Together they curated his first show in a small local gallery featuring 10 early works. That same year he had to drop out of University where he studied Natural Sciences and then Philosophy.

The formative work is loaded emotionally; often dark and controversial. It directly narrates the struggle and frustration of an ambitious curious young man with the people of a narrow minded village. The place is notoriously lovely and attracts many tourists nowadays from all over the world however back in the 80s and 90s he did find most people's attitude and mentality aggressive and often squalid. Luckily, he had found comfort hanging out with his bandmates at the time and a few local painters still his core friends to date, discussing art and listening to Velvet Underground. 

The Moon element first features in a canvas executed in 2003 and throughout the years has evolved into the more recent conceptual Zen moon installations ; a figurative way to inspire others also to reach for their inner peace and embrace the oriental Buddhist philosophy instead of the self punishing and bigot Catholic way.

His portraiture work is stylistically influenced by Art Nouveau and the masters of the 20th century while there are strong references in Asian Art and symbolism with a touch of psychedelia throughout the rest of the production.

Between 2006/08, while still in Italy, he is involved in a few local group exhibitions and has his second solo show 'Lunar Influences'.

At the end of that year, the circumstances as a single father became overwhelming while still living in southern Italy and those are decisive to the next step.

At this point the move to London is not only necessary financially but also a rebellious act of reclaiming the freedom to express himself, cherish the inner child once again and explore all creative possibilities from music to sculpture, photography and video; his extravagant personality can finally fully flourish and become one thing with his Art and the people he is about to meet are a source of both inspiration and mutual motivation.

The acceptance that he never belonged and would never come to terms with the corrupted and small Italian village mentality which also massively affected his mother and family quite badly over the years, plays a huge overturn in the new production from 2009 onwards. 

His more recent work is colourful, sparkly and rich of multi-cultural references, whilst continuing to reflect aspects of his inner journey; culminating in the latest execution of the Zen Meditation Moons, Element Mandalas and Humming Bird Sonata paintings. 

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